With the SA Army division level exercise Vuk’uhlome reaching its climax in the semi-desert Northern Cape this week, a gathering of senior military officers from the southern African region and elsewhere on the continent flew in to see first-hand what the local landward force is capable of.
SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha, was on hand to welcome the VIP visitors who flew into Sishen Airport before an about 50 km escorted convoy drive to the premier South African military training area.
Among countries with representatives at Lohathla are, according to Captain Letlhogonolo Mashego from SA Army Corporate Communication, Algeria, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Botswana and Angola.
Mbatha urged his visitors to share ideas and experiences in the interests of improved co-operation while at the Combat Training Centre (CTC).
In his welcome the three-star noted the CTC was not only an exercise and training area, it is also where troops and prime mission equipment (PME) is mobilised. One example is the Light Modern Brigade, which will be the major SA National Defence Force (SANDF) contributor to government efforts to halt illegal mining as authorised by Commander-in-Chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The just on 160 000 hectare training area notched up a first when a Halal mess was taken into service during the current exercise. Tazkiyah Halal mess was officially opened on Sunday, 19 November, the first of its type in the landward force.
Wednesday 22 November will see Exercise Vuk’uhlome 2023 culminate in a Distinguished Visitors Day, attended by attaches, senior Department of Defence (DoD) leadership, industry representatives and other guests.