The SA Army Engineer Formation is well and truly a support entity for the sharp point of the landward force and the Sappers in its ranks bring various disciplines to ensure it supports to the best of its ability.
This thinking saw the advanced training wing (ATW) of the School of Engineers at Kroonstad in Free State undertake and successfully execute Operation Super Sapper. The School trains all ranks, from privates, called Sappers in militaries around the world, through to non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers. Advanced training learning programmes for troop commanders, corps sergeants and non-ops field section leaders equip these soldiers with the attitude, knowledge and skills needed to “function effectively”, Captain M Munyai and Sapper JD Jansen report.
Ex Super Sapper took place at what was known as the Bossiespruit shooting range and training area and is now Barney Molokoane base outside the Free State town.
Super Sapper took the form of a two-week exercise with all participants working at bettering capabilities to reach objectives, all the time working against the clock. The exercise covered planning, preparation and execution of SA Army Engineer “capabilities in respect of the mission, irrespective of terrain or circumstances”.
First stop for participants was troop commander officers course planning and preparation for presentation to facilitators and Sappers in preparation for the integrated practical phase.
This saw bridge building, water purification and mine warfare tasks started and finished.
Alpha troop was assigned bridge building with Bravo troop doing the water purification task and Charlie troop – as it were mopping up – with road sweeping.
The post task report has it: “all on the exercise were assessed on form of presentations as to capabilities in planning, preparing and executing the mission. Based on levels of competence in the presentations and successful execution of all three set tasks, the main objective of equipping the exercise attendees with the skills and attitude to plan and carry out engineer related tasks at their respective command levels was achieved”.