Next Op Mistral deployment readying for DRC


A command post and field training exercise currently underway in North West is part of preparation for South Africa’s next troop contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Exercise Phirima, with Headquarters 43 SA Brigade in the vanguard and supported by the SA Army Infantry Formation as well as other services and divisions, started at the General De la Rey training area on 20 May and is scheduled to finish next Wednesday (16 June).

Phirima’s aim is to prepare, sustain and ensure the combat readiness of the next SA Army force (the battalion involved is not named in a SANDF statement) ahead of it becoming the next rotational component of the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the central African country.

Infantry Formation GOC (General Officer Commanding) Major General Patrick Dube, with hands-on experience of the DRC, told participants Phirima would evaluate and verify battalion combat readiness for both doctrine and tactics.

When the North West component ends the battalion moves to Entabeni outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo for the jungle training portion of force preparation.

When this is complete the rotation battalion is handed to Joint Operations Headquarters for mission readiness training at the De Brug mobilisation centre in Free State ahead of deployment – by air – to Goma.