SA QRF team tops in DRC military challenge

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Six soldiers from the South African quick reaction force (QRF) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) took time off to test their military and other skills in a competition hosted by the Guatemala Special Forces contingent in the central African country.

The challenge took place at Sake Base, Goma and saw soldiers from the South African QRF take on the hosts and Bangladeshi military police and Uruguayan soldiers. All are deployed in DRC as part of the United Nations mission – MONUSCO – currently the single largest one in the world.

The challenge emphasised teamwork and focused on moving wounded personnel, sniper shooting and a 3km combat run with battle equipment. Additionally, each team had to carry a 12kg backpack, a jerry can filled with water, an ammunition box and a light machine gun (LMG). Rappelling from a hovering helicopter was also part of the challenge, Captain Andre Grundlingh reported for SA National Defence Force (SANDF) social media.

The South African team, led by Major T V Ratshivhadelo, showed tremendous determination, skill and courage in finishing first after successfully completing all tasks set in 31 minutes. Their time was a full  six minutes faster than the second-place finisher.

“The exploits showed both the character and combat-ready status of the South African QRF, comprised of 1 Parachute Battalion Parabats. In taking overall honours in the challenge the South Africans showed what the team is capable of. We will always find a way to win no matter what the circumstances.

“Sport and recreation are integral to any organisation, building esprit de corps and bringing a high level of combat readiness, discipline, morale and determination to achieve any given task,” he wrote.