SA Army task and quick reaction forces ready for continental deployment

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The next batch of South African soldiers tasked for continental peacekeeping duty are ready to go following completion of specialist jungle training and are combat ready for deployment.

Task force Charlie, drawn from Middelburg, Mpumalanga-based 4 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion and a quick reaction force (QRF) had no less than four Army Formation general officers commanding on hand for Exercise Madulo’s closing parade on 17 March. Also present at the Entabeni training area in Limpopo was the two-star general overseeing army force preparation, Patrick Dube.

Other landward force formation general officers commanding (GOCs) on hand were Major General Sean Stratford, Chief Army Force Structure; General Officer Commanding SA Army Support Formation, Major General Edward Mulaudzi; and General Officer Commanding, SA Army Infantry Formation, Major General Herbert Mashego, Captain NE Ramolula reported for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

Next stop for the task and quick reaction force soldiers is the Free State and its De Brug mobilisation centre for mission readiness training including final briefings and medical checks ahead of flying out to Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In South Africa’s eastern neighbour the infantrymen and women will be the sharp end of Operation Vikela, South Africa’s contribution to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) while the QRF will join the United Nations (UN) Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC under the MONUSCO umbrella.

Wishing the troops well, Dube is reported as saying soldiers must be mentally and physically fit as “the situation in foreign lands is not for the faint-hearted”. He stressed the importance of following their commanders and taking proper care of equipment at all times.

“It’s up to you now, the instructors have done their part,” the two-star is reported as saying by Ramolula.

The soldiers showed off the effectiveness of their training, demonstrating a platoon attack in jungle conditions. The communication officer reports it was well executed with the aim of suppressing the enemy by establishing firepower assaults on the enemy position using fire and manoeuvring tactics. This led to the enemy withdrawing with consolidation and re-organisation by the South African infantrymen and women following immediately.