Jungle training for 4 SAI

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South Africa’s commitment to continental peace missions is ongoing as is training to prepare soldiers for deployments to central and east Africa.

One component is jungle warfare, with soldiers headed for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique receiving instruction on the ins and outs of fighting and surviving in jungle terrain, amongst others, Captain NE Ramolulu of Headquarters 43 SA Brigade Corporate Communication reports.

Jungle warfare training, after spells at an Eastern Cape, Port St Johns, training area, is now conducted in Entabeni. The Limpopo training area has what is termed “positive attributes” in the form of dense vegetation similar to that found in DRC and “provides ample advantages for camouflage and concealment as well as material which can be used to build fortifications”.

Presently at Entabeni are elements of 4 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion, preparing to deploy as Task Force Charlie to Operation Vikela in Mozambique and a quick reaction force (QRF) destined for the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC.

The overall aim of what is termed “jungle warfare orientation training” is to validate operational concepts, procedures and combat readiness of the task force and QRF.

The Entabeni training area will also put the infantrymen and women through their paces in protection of civilians, civil-military co-operation, fighting in built-up-areas (FIBUA) as well as river and swamp crossings and other specifics not part of last year’s Exercise Vuk’uhlome at the SA Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) in the Northern Cape.

The training for the Middelburg, Mpumalanga-based infantry battalion is being done as Exercise Madulo and is scheduled to end on 21 March. It began on 16 February.