With the Rand Show just on three weeks away, one arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) – the SA Army – is geared up and ready to show just what the landward service is capable of.
From precision drilling in the arena at Nasrec through to the Olifant Mk2 main battle tank and other stops in between, the Army will make full use of the Rand Show to not only showcase its competencies but also use it as a recruiting platform.
In this regard showgoers will be able to get up close and personal with some of the frontline equipment used by the landward arm of service on deployments ranging from border protection through to continental peacekeeping and peace support missions as well as humanitarian assistance.
The hands-on factor will be very much at the fore with both driving and shooting simulators up and working.
Mechanised and motorised elements of the Infantry Formation, including an equestrian unit at this stage primarily deployed in border protection operations, will be an integral part of the overall SANDF exhibition at the show which opens on April 18 and ends on April 28.
The Intelligence Formation will show its high resolution cameras used in operations, including border protection and anti-rhino poaching, to provide real-time information to ground-based troops, considerably improving the chances of arrests.
While many might consider snail mail a thing of the past it’s an essential for soldiers deployed outside the country or on border protection to keep them in contact with family. 11 Field Post Office, based at AFB Waterkloof, is a Reserve Force unit that daily fulfils this important part of keeping morale up among the troops no matter where they find themselves and its members will be sorting and dispatching mail destined for foreign missions for the duration of the Rand Show.
Air Defence Artillery gunners will be making the trip from their home base at Kimberley in Northern Cape to Johannesburg to show the guns, radar and missiles used to defend the country’s airspace from threats.
The Engineer Formation, better known to South Africans in rural areas where its expertise has provided bridges to link them with water, schools and health facilities, will be showing its mine detection systems including the Husky and Meerkat vehicles at the show.