Another step forward for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), particularly its naval component as hosts of Exercise Ibsamar 2022, came this month (April) when a reconnaissance team visited Eastern Cape harbour city Gqeberha.
The exercise, set for 13 to 18 October, will see Brazil, India and South Africa work jointly in a naval exercise in what is now Nelson Mandela Bay, formerly Algoa Bay.
The Atlasur organising team’s programme was planned and executed with the assistance of Joint Tactical Headquarters, Eastern Cape under the command of Colonel Henry Uithaler.
Captain Nonkonzo Mboniswa, Acting Staff Officer 3, Operational Communication, Joint Tactical Headquarters Eastern Cape, reports part of the reconnaissance team’s visit to Gqeberha saw a visit to and meeting with Port of Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) harbour authorities to clarify issues around a planned open day. Activities and open day requirements were tabled and discussed with security and entrance control also on the agenda.
In addition to the port authority call, the reconnaissance team led by exercise director Brigadier General Pamla Dlamini was briefed on intelligence, resources and medical requirements.
Following discussions on exercise timelines the reconnaissance team, with all objectives achieved, departed for their home units.
There was, at the time of publication, no indication on whether the Brazilian and Indian navies had responded to invitations to be part of the seventh maritime exercise in South African waters.
Drills presently listed for Ibsamar 2022 include navigation; Officer of the Watch (OOW) manoeuvres; fleet work; communication procedures; visit board, search and seizure (VBSS) and helicopter operations.
The SA Navy (SAN) will deploy a Valour Class frigate and two Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) boarding teams, with the Indians requested to send a frigate, organic ship’s helicopter and a maritime patrol aircraft. Brazil has been invited to send a frigate and team of marines.