Further commitment to crowd control comes from Youngsfield military base where soldiers from 10 SA Infantry Battalion underwent a four-day shotgun training refresher course.
Infantry soldiers form the bulk of the SA Army’s current deployment – Operation Notlela – assisting in efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Their deployment is part of the presidentially decreed State of National Disaster which eased to level three at the start of June after more than 60 days of strict lockdown, including a night-time curfew and ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products.
SA National Defence Force (SANDF) social media has it the shotgun refresher course for Charlie Company soldiers from the Mafikeng-based unit at the Western Cape military base is in line with soldiers having to “use firearms to prevent violent crimes such as assault, malicious damage to property, arson and murder. Actions are taken not to kill, but to stop what is happening”.
The 10 infantrymen on course used the Stoeger SP312 weapon and were instructed on scenarios where a shotgun may or may not be used, handling fundamentals, using ammunition appropriate to a specific incident as well as proper handling procedures of the Turkish six-shot weapon.
The training ended with a practical evaluation at Schaapkraal shooting range. Here those on course were reminded if they found themselves using the weapon it would be at a moving target in the majority of instances with “the target throwing objects at you so you better perfect your accuracy, speed and know your drills” their instructor advised.
With shotgun training complete the solders return to their platoons and will deploy as shotgun specialists for the duration of Op Notlela.