Captain Jabu Mbotho is presently bringing his charge SAS Isandlwana to her home port of Simon’s town after taking part in the 10th iteration of Exercise Atlasur.
This year’s exercise with the maritime forces of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay took place off the southern coast of Brazil at the beginning of September.
Isandlwana, one of the SA Navy’s four Valour Class frigates, exited the Navy’s fleet headquarters on her transit to South America in mid-August.
“The vessel ported in Itajai on August for refuelling, re-victualing and planning before sailing on September 1 for the major part of the exercise,” Commander Greyling van den Berg said.
“All tasks associated with the multi-national exercise were successfully completed before coming alongside in Rio de Janeiro on September 1 and all partaking vessels departed for home ports on September 11. Isandlwana is expected back in Simon’s town on September 23.”
Next on the list for the maritime arm of service is the three nation Exercise Ibsamar. Vessels from the Brazilian and Indian Navies are set to arrive in Simon’s town towards the end of October.
Scheduled to finish in mid-November this will be the fourth joint exercise involving two of South Africa’s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) partners.
The main planning conference for Ibsamar 2014 was held some six months ago but, at the time of publication, no details as regards the number of visiting vessels or the various drills to be exercised had been made available.
It is believed the Brazilian and Indian contingents will berth at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront after the exercise for rest and relaxation.
The next multi-national exercise for the SA Navy after Ibsamar is Exercise Good Hope with Germany to take place on as yet undisclosed dates next year.