Jungle training for quick reaction force ahead of DRC deployment


A quick reaction force (QRF) is part of South Africa’s contribution to the three-nation Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) deployed in DR Congo as the offensive arm of the UN MONUSCO mission.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) reports the landward force is tasked with providing a QRF comprising elements from the SA Army, other services and divisions of the national military. The QRF supplements elements of the battalion group that deployed to eastern DRC to operate in hostile jungle environments and infiltrate at any given time. These actions assist in protecting civilians and stabilising and strengthening government institutions as part of the FIB’s overall tasking.

As with other SANDF units deployed in the central African country, pre-deployment training is essential and this instruction saw the latest QRF at the General de Wet training area outside Bloemfontein and the Entabeni State Forest in Limpopo for fine tuning combat readiness. The Bloemfontein stop saw the QRF leader group receive specialist training before moving north to meet up with the force for jungle training under the eagle eye of exercise director Colonel Sehaka Thomas Hloka.

The training saw QRF soldiers hone their skills in jungle warfare orientation, patrols, offensive battle drills, operations room procedures, planning, administration, logistics and Intelligence.

SA Army Chief Director: Force Preparation, Major General Sean Stratford visited the training areas to see for himself the soldiers were up to the required standards in disciplines which could be lifesaving ahead of their DRC deployment.

He is reported by the SANDF as telling QRF soldiers they will become part of combat ready forces to be deployed by the Joint Operations Division. This move is standard deployment procedure for any and all South African armed force units whether their mission is external (Operation Mistral) or internal (Operation Corona).

Training started on 14 February outside Bloemfontein for the leader group and continued in Entabeni for  all involved with jungle warfare training from 27 February to 22 March.