Exercise Ibsamar underway


The tri-nation naval exercise Ibsamar is now in full swing following a week’s preparation and briefings in Simon’s Town.

With the exception of the South African Navy’s Type 209 submarine SAS Manthatisi, all vessels taking part in the exercise departed harbour yesterday with flying exercises by a 22 Squadron Super Lynx and boat launching and Officer of the Watch manoeuvres done while participating ships were steaming to a designated point ahead of a night steam.

Today the Brazilian, Indian and South African surface ships taking part will exercise defence against air attacks. 2 Squadron and its Gripens have been tasked to “attack” the Indian frigate INS Teg, the SA Navy fleet headquarters in Simon’s town confirmed. It did not indicate how many of the Swedish-built fast jets would take part in the exercise.

Live firing, search and rescue and vertical replenishment exercises are also planned for today with a dry run of a replenishment at sea (RAS) set for tomorrow along with a boarding operation. This will see aircraft locate a vessel of interest (one of either the Brazilian, Indian or South African warships), feed the necessary intelligence back to boarding parties, followed by an actual boarding exercise.

While steaming to Saldanha, the Ibsamar flotilla will be put under co-ordinated aircraft attacks and the rotary-winged component of the exercise will conduct flying operations and various maritime specific drills.

Thursday starts with an open day at Saldanha that will see VIPs meet senior officers in the Saldanha wardroom.

No further exercise details were available at the time of publication but it is envisaged the drills practised during the False Bay/Saldanha transit will be repeated with anti-submarine operations added as Manthatisi will be part of the action from Wednesday.

Apart from the submarine the Navy platforms taking part in Ibsamar are SAS Spioenkop (F147), the offshore patrol vessel SAS Isaac Dyobha (P1565) and the mine counter-measures vessel SAS Umhloti (M1212).

Marine drills practised during Ibsamar will involve the South African Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) and Brazilian and Indian marines as well as elements of the SA Special Forces. This is likely to include a simulated landing by a marine group on a populated area with extraction of diplomatic personnel the mission objective.

Closing and debrief for Ibsamar IV is set for November 7 to 10 with demobilisation lasting from November 10 to 14.

Pic: Barroso. Photo by Dean Wingrin.