In addition to exercising all spectra of maritime conflict, conventional three dimensional warfare, constabulary and benign operations, the SA Navy will also hone its skills in the areas of disaster management and assistance and local safeguarding during Exercise Red Lion currently underway.
Red Lion is the maritime component of the broader SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Exercise Ndlovu and it runs through to completion with a demobilisation and debrief phase ending on July 25.
“A great deal of effort will be on assessing operational and tactical staff work as well as inter-ship communications,” Commander Cara Pratten, SA Navy media liaison officer said, adding the task group created for Red Lion is under the command of Captain Michael Boucher, SSO Surface Warfare at Fleet Headquarters in Simon’s Town.
Participating vessels are the combat vessel SAS Drakensberg; Type 209 submarines SAS Manthatisi and SAS Queen Modjadji; the four Valour Class frigates SAS Isandlwana, SAS Mendi, SAS Spioenkop and SAS Amatola; the OPV SAS Galeshewe and mine counter-measures vessels SAS Umhloti and SAS Umzimkulu.
The local safeguarding component of Red Lion will assess the conduct of emergency procedures and drills at shore establishments and the disaster exercise, scheduled for July 18, will assess inter-agency co-operation during a simulated national disaster.
Other objectives of Red Lion 2016 are the provision of practical training platforms, exercising maritime procedures during a light air strike and the integration of anti-submarine warfare procedures between surface vessels and a submarine.
The naval elements involved in Red Lion will include the Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) and SA Air Force (SAAF) in the form of Super Lynx and Oryx helicopters with medical support provided by the SA Military Health Service.