The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will be part and parcel of the Rand Show right from the official opening Friday after next along with arena and static displays for the duration of the event at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.
Of the more than 10 000 square metres of display space that will be taken up by the military, a major portion will be dedicated to careers in the SANDF. To be housed in Hall 10A, the career expo will, in addition to having representatives from all four arms of service on hand to answer questions, also have Army Young Lions and Air Force Young Falcons present. They will tell, in their own words, what these two arms of service are like, having done camps and been involved in some of the musterings, ranging from pilots, navigators and flight engineers through to artillery and mortar men as well as Sappers, the military name for an engineer whose work ranges from blowing up bridges and roads to building them and providing clean water.
Another part of the indoor exhibition will be a display showing a typical day in the life of a soldier. Also of interest to those thinking of joining the SANDF, more specifically the Signals Formation, will be a display pitting first generation communication methods such as Morse Code against modern signalling equipment and technology.
Rand Show visitors will also be able to show their support for soldiers on peace support and peacekeeping missions in the DRC and Sudan. 11 Field Postal Unit, an active Reserve Force unit staffed by Post Office employees, will be open for the duration of the show and have goodwill postcards waiting for messages.
The outdoor exhibition will feature, among others, the Ratel ZT3, Gecko rapid deployment vehicle, Badger infantry combat vehicle, Rooikat armoured vehicle, radar systems, a tactical intelligence post with working cameras, the Rooivalk combat support helicopter, Umlindi radar, a flight simulator, a dive tank and compression chamber as well as elements of a field hospital and emergency medical, disaster and search and rescue equipment.
The military will this year also be hands-on with visitors to the SANDF exhibition able to try their skills on driving, shooting and missile simulators.
The SAAF Silver Falcons aerobatic team, headquartered at AFB Langebaanweg, will perform displays as will Hawk Mk120 Lead-In Fighter Trainers from 85 Combat Flying School at AFB Makhado. Their displays will coincide with SANDF arena displays including fast-roping of specialist infantry from an Oryx helicopter, an artillery gun run, precision drill and parachute jumps (weather permitting).
The military contribution to the opening on Friday April 3 will be in the form of a massed band comprising the SA Military Health Service band, the SA Army’s Kroonstad band and the SA Navy band.
The Rand Show closes on April 12.