This year’s Exercise Seboka will, according to the Director: Corporate Communications of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), be different to previous years in that it will not be limited to the landward force.
“Other SANDF elements will be included simulating, to a certain extent, a reinforced battalion the SANDF can provide to the African Union as part of the African Capability for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC),” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.
“This year’s Exercise Seboka was not specifically designed as force preparation for ACIRC but it does offer an opportunity to simulate SANDF elements that can contribute to ACIRC as part of the overall SANDF contingent.”
While there has not been any official word on South Africa’s commitment to ACIRC, the continental body’s planned rapid reaction force until such time as the long-awaited African Standby Force (ASF) becomes reality, SANDF planners are hard at work on force composition and logistic support.
SANDF Commander-in-Chief, President Jacob Zuma, who hosted an ACIRC summit in Pretoria last November, sees the force as a forerunner to the ASF and one whose time has come because there must be “independent and swift response to crises arising in Africa”.
Seboka 2014 runs from September 1 to 24 with 43 SA Brigade headquarters responsible for planning and conduct of the exercise.
Mabanga said he could not give any indication of the units/ regiments taking part in Seboka this year “to prevent unintended consequences”.
Ahead of last year’s Seboka, defenceWeb requested and was given the following regiments and units as participants. 4 SA Infantry Battalion, 4 Artillery Regiment, 10 Anti-Air Defence Regiment, 1 SA Tank Regiment, 1 Special Service Battalion, 2 Field Engineer Regiment, 1 Tactical Intelligence Regiment, 1 Signal Regiment, 13 Military Provost Marshal, 16 Maintenance Unit and 10 Field Workshop.
Military watchers defenceWeb spoke to feel the landward force component this year could be similar with the SA Air Force (SAAF) providing, apart from aircraft, Umlindi mobile radar units.
“The SANDF force preparation and combat readiness exercises normally cover the whole spectrum of conflict starting from outbreak through to stabilisation activities. The approach of this exercise is focussed on the three supporting concepts of expeditionary warfare, complex war fighting and joint and multi-national operations executive across the spectrum of conflict in diverse and dispersed areas.
“This approach affords the exercised force to be exposed to specific means of conflict resolution, traditional peacekeeping operations, peace enforcement operations and post-conflict rebuilding and reconstruction operations,” Mabanga said.