Soldiers from four Reserve Force units underwent mission readiness training (MRT) ahead of Op Notlela deployment at Cape Town’s Fort Ikapa and 9 SA Infantry Battalion.
Alpha company from General Jan Smuts Regiment in Cape Town, Bravo Company from Grahamstown’s Chief Makhanda Regiment, Charlie Company from Buffalo Volunteer Rifles in East London supported by Chief Langalibalele Regiment of Western Cape attended the seven day session.
MRT sees role players from different sections conducting briefings with the incoming battalion of soldiers. Operational Law Aspects are discussed in detail to ensure soldiers adhere to the Operation Notlela Code Of Conduct and Rules Of Engagement are understood, as well as personnel management, logistics, intelligence, public relations and medical awareness training on COVID-19 in terms of hygiene protocols, social distancing and wearing of a mask at all times according to Petty Officer Inge Cloete of the Western Cape Joint Tactical headquarters’ public information centre.
Colonel Keith Aarons, Officer Commanding Joint Tactical Headquarters Western Cape, said, “Part of MRT is to prepare soldiers for tasks they might do including foot patrols, vehicle patrols, COVID-19 awareness training assisting medics educating the public and mass screening and testing as part of the operation”.
Another component of MRT sees the incoming battalion undergo uniform and kit checks and a vehicle parade to ensure serviceability. Helicopter drills ensure familiarisation with entering and exiting aircraft and safety aspects. Helicopters are used for trooping, at vehicle control posts and foot patrols as a fast reaction to provide additional forces.