Ex Good Hope is back


Years of inactivity for joint exercises come to an end for the maritime and airborne services of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) at month-end.

The eighth iteration of the longstanding joint exercise Good Hope starts on 31 January in the Saldanha area of the Cape West Coast and, according to Lieutenant Sibongile Khuzwayo, will finish on 13 February.

The most recent Good Hope exercise was put on hold by the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to Khuzwayo, Good Hope is held every two years with South Africa again, as always, the host nation.

“The aim of the exercise is to strengthen the bond of friendship between the SANDF and Germany. It is intended to promote existing military ties between the armed forces of both countries by maintaining and building on previous operational and tactical co-operation between South African and German Armed Forces. It focuses on testing and developing joint and combined doctrine as well as enhancing joint and combined inter-operability,” the SA Navy (SAN) Lieutenant reported.

The 2019/20 edition of Good Hope was scheduled for February/March 2020 with then Director: Corporate Communication of the SANDF, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, telling defenceWeb some months ahead of the planned exercise there was “constant liaison” between senior officers in both the German and South African defence forces. Ultimately, the joint exercise did not happen.

Ex Good Hope in 2015 had as an over-arching aim to achieve and maintain levels of readiness required for the respective navies to be able to fulfil allotted and allocated maritime tasks.

Previous exercises Good Hope started with harbour training, in all probability to be conducted at Saldanha this time around, followed by specific serials. These comprised force integration and combat enhancement training including helicopter cross deck operations, officer of the watch training, gunnery exercises and anti-submarine exercises as well as a multi-threat exercise.

No details of SAN or Deutsche Marine platforms, equipment and personnel earmarked for Good Hope 2022 were available at the time of publishing.