On 7 February, the South African National War College (SANWC) hosted the opening ceremony for the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme (JSCSP) in Pretoria.
The main functionary was Chief of Staff of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Lieutenant General Lindile Yam, with service and divisional chiefs as well as various members from the SANWC in attendance as Yam officially opened the JSCSP 2019/2020.
The JSCSP serves to prepare selected officers for senior appointments at operational level of war with a distinct overlap on military strategy in war. This is done by developing their command, staff and analytical skills as well as broadening their professional understanding of single-service, joint and combined operations. The programme also serves to give the selected officers a better scope on management of defence and numerous aspects of conflict.
Yam emphasised the importance of a course such as the JSCSP in stating, “fourth generation warfare is characterised by a post-modern return to decentralised forms of warfare,” he said, adding that the lines between war and politics are being blurred and modes of conflict are returning to pre-modern times.
Students attending the course, upon completion, will achieve a post-graduate diploma (NQF level eight) in defence studies with a national diploma in joint and multi-national operations. Those who achieve these qualifications will have the opportunity to register for a master’s programme at the SA National Defence College.
The programme will take place over the next 48 weeks and as part of the JSCSP, the SANWC invests in educating military personnel and recruiting instructors from various countries.
Commandant of the SANDF War College, Brigadier General Siseko Nombewu stated that this year, the programme has 83 student officers. The South African Army has 43 student officers, the South African Air Force has 13, the South African Navy has seven, the South African Military Health Services has eight and Defence Intelligence has three student officers attending the JSCSP.
The JSCSP will also be attended by a single defence attaché from Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and two from China. This is done to ensure that the SANDF alongside foreign military personnel gain a diverse and global military education.