The shore phase of the South African Navy exercise Red Lion started today and will be followed in two weeks by a sea phase.
SA Navy spokesman Captain Zamo Sithole said SA Navy platforms involved would include the supply and replenishment vessel, SAS Drakensberg (A301), all four Valour Class frigates, as well as an OPV and two mine counter-measures vessels. Oryx and Super Lynx helicopters, operated by the SA Air Force, will also take part in the force preparedness exercise.
SAN Chief, Vice Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane, confirms the sea phase of Red Lion will take place in the Southern Cape area from July 15 to 23.
“The overall aim of the exercise is operational preparedness. South Africans want their defence force always to be ready for any operational requirement. This exercise is one of the means by which the SA Navy sharpens its readiness,” he said.
The naval exercise takes place at the same time as two other exercises – one for the landward force (Exercise Young Eagle) and the other for the SA Air Force (Exercise Winter Solstice). All three are running under the Exercise Ndlovu umbrella.
These exercises are Northern Cape based and centre around Kimberley and Upington and will, in accordance with an instruction from SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief, General Solly Shoke not be run in silos but on a joint force and doctrine concept.