The South African National Defence Force’s Joint Operations (J Ops) this morning comprehensively briefed the media on its current activities.
The four hour briefing touched on all aspects of SA`s current and possible pending operations and also touched on preparations for the upcoming 22 April election, the Confederations cup and the Southern African Development Community`s (SADC) Brigade (SADCBRIG) exercise, Golfinho.
The briefing, an annual event, took place at the Joint Operations Division headquarters located on the scenic Zwartkop, south-east of Pretoria.
Salient points are:
- The SANDF is currently overstretched in terms of peacekeeping commitments, but is pushing up its deployments in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 1100 and Sudan to 850. In addition, the Burundi deployment, which should be winding down, will be boosted by 100.
- Following several years of active recruitment ad training, Special Forces regiments are no longer understrength in terms of qualified operational personnel, known as “operators” in local parlance.
- The SANDF is ready to support the election as required.
- Preparations for the Golfinho force training exercise, involving about 5000 soldiers, airmen, sailors and medics are underway. There is currently a map exercise ongoing in Angola and a command post exercise is scheduled for Mozambique in April. The exercise will take place off Walvis Bay at Lohatlha in September.
- J Ops is concerned at delays regarding the Airbus A400M airlifter project and noted alternatives were being considered.
- Government is still considering SA`s participation in anti-piracy operations off Somalia.
- The SANDF will withdraw from borderline control operations on 31 March but will be available to support the police as and when required.
A full report is to follow.