Come the last week in November, SA Navy fleet headquarters at Simon’s Town will be a hive of activity as three navies prepare for a multi-national naval exercise.
South Africa’s maritime service will – for the first time – host the Chinese and Russian navies. According to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Directorate: Corporate Communications, the exercise will focus on “maritime economy, inter-operability and mending (sic) relations between participating navies”.
The exercise starts with “alongside planning and preparation before sailing to conduct a planned exercise at sea” the SANDF said in response to an enquiry. The Joint Operations Division “as the custodian of all exercises and operations in the SANDF is finalising a commissioning directive that outlines SA Navy – and other SANDF assets – that will be deployed during the exercise”.
As far as can be ascertained the tri-nation naval exercise will be called Exercise Deep Sea.
No further information about participating ships, aircraft and specifics of the exercise has yet been made available.
This is the only at sea exercise the South African maritime service will take part in this year as the exercises Oxide with the French naval forces in the Indian Ocean and Good Hope, with the German Navy, have been postponed. Indications are Exercise Oxide will be staged next year with Exercise Good Hope, at present, set for 2022. The rescheduling is by mutual agreement between the countries involved.