The current group of officers on the Security and Defence Studies programmes at the SA National Defence College recently visited the CSIR to see, among others, defence and security research areas at the country largest research facility.
The College is the highest institute of learning in the national security and civil service environments. It aims to improve co-operation and effectiveness between clusters of government departments involved in improving the quality of life for South Africans a CSIR statement said.
The Security and Defence Studies programme, previously the Executive National Security Programme (ENSP), is intended to inspire and instil critical strategic thinking amongst potential future leaders within the defence force and defence industry. Candidates are exposed to thought leaders on strategy and national security.
Kaven Naidoo, CSIR manager for aeronautic systems completed the programme in 2014. He said: “We were required to interrogate a number of aspects affecting the broader definition of national security, including economic development, education, natural resources, government, technology, military strategy and internal security. It remains a unique and valuable national institution”.
The visit to South Africa’s premier research organisation, which also houses a dedicated defence and security division, was requested by Brigadier General Sereko. He said it was “vital for government officials involved in security related matters and senior SANDF officers to be exposed to the expertise of senior people in the private sector as well as foreign countries.
The tour of the CSIR facilities included the medium-speed wind tunnel, one of the best-equipped and most sophisticated tunnels of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Types of tests performed in the tunnel include captive trajectory, or store separation tests, high-angle-of-attack tests, dynamic testing capability, as well as aerodynamic damping tests.
Some of the presentations included overviews of the CSIR’s landward sciences that focus on the effectiveness of the foot soldier, the CSIR’s role in Africa and its whole-of-government approach to solving environmental asset management issues.
On successful completion of the course the 36 officers and officials will be awarded a post-graduate diploma in the security management field.
Of his time on the ENSP Naidoo said: “I found the exposure to broader themes affecting national security, beyond the business of science and innovation in the CSIR, enlightening in a way that enhanced my ability to impact in my area of work,” adding he wished the current class success in completing the Security and Defence Studies programme.