Musketry is defined as the technique of bringing fire from a group of rifle and automatic weapons to bear on specified targets and South African soldiers now have the added value of Cuban automated shooting training to up their musketry skills another level.
The training was, according to a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) LinkedIn post, put into practice at the SA Army Infantry Formation’s Infantry School in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, over a period of weeks. This saw Cuban instructors, under the command of Brigadier General Borjas Ortega and led by Colonel Sifontes, first show instructors at the Infantry Formation’s prime training facility the ins and outs of the “Cuban way” with musketry. This, according to Captain Metja Evelyn Mashiane and Lieutenant MK Khoza, embraces the philosophy, methodology and technology of Cuban shooting training.
With local instructors deemed proficient, Alpha Company of the current military skills development (MSD) intake was identified as first recipients of the new skill for South Africa’s infantry fraternity. Their training was followed with demonstration of the new skill to top SA Army officers, including chief Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha.
Speaking at a demonstration, Mbatha, according to the LinkedIn post, highlighted “deep-rooted relations” between the Caribbean island nation and South Africa and thanked the Cubans for sharing their expertise and knowledge. He acknowledged Cuban assistance in solving the puzzle of having a combat ready landward force capability ready to fulfil its constitutional mandate despite the dwindling defence budget.