The just appointed Officer Commanding of the SA Naval College is a sailor who has come through the ranks from rating to four-ringer.
Captain Khulile Gerald Mahlombe started his naval carer as a rating at SAS Simonsberg where he was a personnel clerk after doing his basic military training at SAS Saldanha. Two years later he was transferred to SAS Drakensberg as a personnel clerk and gained operational and sea time experience.
In 1998 Mahlombe found himself at what his now his command – the SA Naval College in Gordon’s Bay – for his officer’s course. Successful completion saw him posted to Navy HQ for further development and in 2002 he was staffed at SAS Saldanha as a military training officer part one moving on to a part 2 officer before transferring the Fleet command HQ as SO1 Fleet Military Development and then back to Gordon’s Bay as training commander. He also served as SSO to the Flag Officer Fleet after completing the Joint Senior Staff command Programme at the War College.
Mahlombe takes over command of the SA Naval College from Captain Joseph Ikaneng who moves to Fleet Command in Simon’s town where he will be director: fleet logistics.
Ikaneng told the parade the Naval College had successfully seen 137 midshipmen through formative training in the past two years, part of an SA National Defence Force wide initiative to align formative training of officer candidates across all four services.
“The aim is to ensure essential common curriculum content is presented at all formative colleges and standardise the military knowledge base of all officer candidates,” he said adding the SA Navy curriculum was one of the first to be approved.
In bidding the College farewell Ikaneng said it was “critically important” the Fleet support the appointment of experienced and credible officer to conduct officers’ formative training.
“If we don’t get it right here, there is little chance to change errant behaviour later,” he said.
Picture: CPO Jean-Pierre Grant, Navy News chief photographer