South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel had a chance to test their mettle during a mock battle as part of the South African Army’s Exercise Ukuthula in the Northern Cape.
On 4 October, ‘stabilising forces’ carried out a group attack on ‘destabilisers’ in the area of operations at the Combat Training Centre (CTC) at Lohatla.
Ground forces received South African Air Force close air support with Hawk Mk 120 aircraft while 4 Artillery Regiment, Sierra Battery, provided artillery fire support with the G5 howitzer.
The ground attack was carried out by an integrated force consisting of 1 SA Infantry Battalion and an Armoured Car troop.
Medical evacuations and casevac for simulated injured and deceased members were performed by an Air Medical Evacuation Team (AMET), the SANDF said.
Exercise Ukuthula is the culmination of the Army’s annual training courses and has seen Junior Command Staff Duties (JCSD) and Integrated Sub Unit Commanders (ISUC) students gain field experience.
“Although limited resources and funds are available for exercises of this nature, the learners and supporting forces are offered valuable opportunities to gain experience which will be tested during both internal and external deployments,” the SANDF said.
Ukuthula 2018 was officially declared open on Saturday 29 September during an all Arms of Service Parade by Brigadier General R.J. Coetzee, General Officer Commanding SA Army Training Formation during his visit to SA Combat Training Centre at Lohatla.
According to the SANDF, the first combat vehicle participating in Exercise Ukuthula left the Assembly Area on the afternoon of 1 October. This saw dozens of vehicles departing on the exercise, including Ratels, Mfezi armoured ambulances, logistics vehicles and Rooikat armoured cars.