Exercise Shared Accord wrapping up


Exercise Shared Accord, which saw South African and United States military personnel hone humanitarian and other skills in support of peace support operations (PSOs), ends on Wednesday 27 July.

A group of about 50 Americans, including dental and veterinary specialists, worked alongside SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) personnel in uMhlathuze and uMfolozi local municipalities in the Richards Bay district of KwaZulu-Natal. Their focus was on general health as well as dental and optometric diagnosis and care, along with veterinary care, including rabies vaccinations for pets.

On the tactical side, Americans attached to the US Army Southern European Task Force Africa (SETAF-AF) of the US Armed Forces, worked with SA Air Force (SAAF) pilots and cargo handling personnel on efficient loading, unloading and delivery of peace support equipment. Other taskings saw military police in action at roadblocks and inspection points and medevacs, and practice disaster management procedures, including chemical spills.

One drill saw military police working an accident scene simulation with provincial emergency medical service personnel. The simulation was the practical culmination of days of theoretical training. Other drills included tactical air landing, rollcall and its importance as well as working and caring for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps.

Wednesday’s closing ceremony will have demonstrations including high altitude low opening (HALO) parachutists, medevacs, handling potentially toxic spillages as well as joint police and traffic officer control of, among others, crowds and crashes.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Directorate: Corporate Communication (DCC) has it the Shared Accord exercise is staged to improve bilateral military interoperability in air support and peace support operations for landward forces as well as exercising provision of medical assistance and humanitarian relief to own forces and the local population. SAMHS together with the New York Army National Guard personnel were in the forefront of the community outreach programme.