The South African Army is currently conducting Exercise Ukuthula 2019 at the Combat Training Centre in the Northern Cape with the aim of validating and confirming the combat readiness of the forces it has pledged to the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) initiative.
Participants include 43 South African Brigade and members of the South African Police Service. The Air Force is contributing aircraft – this includes the Gripen, which on Tuesday dropped munitions at the Lohatla training area.
The South African National Defence Force said the exercise is aimed at validating and confirming the combat readiness of the pledged African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) forces which will be harmonised into the African Standby Force.
The exercise also seeks to give the SA Army Senior Courses (Junior Staff and Command Course, Integrated Sub-Unit Commanders and NCO Operational Duties) practical experience.
The exercise started on the 15 September and will end on 25 October.
The exercise participants were recently visited by the Chief of the SA Army Lieutenant General Lindile Yam and SA Police Service Provincial Commissioner: Northern Cape, Lieutenant General Shivuri and other SA Army and SA Police Service Generals.
Exercise Ukuthula 2018 was held in October and November last year as the culmination of the Army’s annual training courses, providing practical experience for NCOs, subunit commanders and others, giving junior leaders the opportunity to test their skills in a real exercise using prime mission equipment.
The 2018 exercise was based around the scenario of a fictional island off the coast of Somalia where peacekeeping forces were tasked to intervene in a conflict and engage with an enemy. In addition to South African personnel who took part in the 2018 exercise, there were learners from China, South Korea, Pakistan and African countries participating.