SADC standby force logistics exercise underway

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Senior officers from unspecified Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are putting heads together in Luanda for Nguizani, a logistics exercise for the regional bloc standby force.

A SADC statement notes eight objectives of what is presumably a “tabletop” exercise as there is no mention of actual troop and/or materiel movement.

The objectives are given as first and foremost planning and execution of a bloc level logistics exercise followed by, among others, “to practice participants on reception, staging, onward movement and integration (RSOI) across land, maritime and air domains” as well as “harmonise” the logistics concepts of planning and execution of mission integrated logistics support. Other agenda items for the 25 September/6 October exercise will test the planning and employment of SADC SF (standby force) strategic lift capability; validate logistic support for the regional standby force and plan “effective and efficient” logistic support reducing the “logistics footprint”.

Nguizani translates from Chewa/Nyanja as “tell me”.  Chewa/Nyanja is an official language and common lingua franca in Malawi and Zambia. It is also used in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Training is central to the exercise with participants from the military, police, correctional services as well as civil society taking part. Nguizani, according to the statement, was sanctioned by the 27th SADC Defence sub-committee allowing the standby force “to test its logistic support capability and have common ground as far as logistic support to fielded forces is concerned”. The exercise takes place in the Angolan capital under the theme “Africa for Peace and Prosperity (A4P2)”.

Just on three years ago, SADC made known its intention to build a dedicated logistic support depot for the region’s standby force. Botswana’s Rasesa village 10 km west of Mochudi, 64 km from Gaborone, was selected as the depot site. At the time SADC said the depot was “expected to cost in the region of $45 million” and be operational in five years. The regional logistics depot (RLD) will have warehouses and workshops for materials, equipment and standby stocks allocated to the regional standby force.

It will have offices and residential components and comprehensive infrastructure including a road network; power, sewage and water as well as security. A SADC statement at the time billed the RLD as “a central platform for logistics provision and support for the SADC standby force”.