Ex Mosi II to coincide with Armed Forces Day 2023

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Armed Forces Day (AFD) next year will have a distinctly naval flavour with the event set down for northern KwaZulu-Natal port city Richards Bay at the same time as the SA Navy (SAN) embarks on its second exercise with Chinese PLAN and Russian Federation warships.

The first Russo/Sino/South African naval exercise – Mosi – was conducted off South Africa’s west coast between the Capes of Columbine and Good Hope in November 2019.

February 21 is AFD in South Africa commemorating the country’s worst naval tragedy when the troopship SS Mendi went down in the English Channel on 21 February 1917 with the loss of over 600 lives. The commemoration has grown into a week-long event with all services and divisions exhibiting materiel, manpower and careers in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). 2023 marks the first of what can be termed AFD round two with all nine provinces having hosted it once.

Recently appointed Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Monde Lobese used the regular CNavy Calling column in Navy News to update next year’s tri-nation naval exercise off northern KwaZulu-Natal.

He informs readers the exercise will be called Mosi II and is one of two the SAN will take part in next year. The other is the Franco/South African Oxide tentatively set down for the island of La Reunion, home to the French forces in the Indian Ocean.

On Mosi II, Lobese writes both visiting navies have agreed to participate in AFD by opening their ships to the public while in Richards Bay. He gives no information on ships participating, from all three participating navies.

The final exercise planning conference is/was due to be held this month (December). A defenceWeb request to the SANDF Directorate Corporate Communication (DCC) in this regards is, as yet, unanswered.

That Richards Bay features strongly on the SAN radar is evident when immediate past CNavy’s address to the November change of command parade for the maritime service is taken into account.

Now retired vice admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane told the Martello sports ground parade of an “ongoing project” to relocate Naval Base (NB) Durban to the northern KwaZulu-Natal port city. “The SANDF, Transnet and other stakeholders are in the process of ensuring the success of the project despite challenges that often crop up,” he said.

On this count defenceWeb has asked SAN Public Relations for more information but, as with the DCC Exercise Mosi questions, no response has yet been received.