The German Navy commitment to the 2015 edition of Exercise Good Hope is not confined to three frigates and a fleet auxiliary vessel. Its Chief, Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, will also be in Simon’s Town for part of the bi-national exercise.
On March 1 the frigates Hessen (flagship), Karlsruhe and Brandenburg accompanied by the Type 702 supply ship, Berlin, will enter South African territorial waters. The ships form part of the European’s country annual training cruise – EAV 2015 – and left Wilhelmshaven on Tuesday this week.
They are scheduled to enter Simon’s Town on March 2 and will do harbour training with elements of the SA Navy until March 12. This has been set aside for a harbour visit to Cape Town with March 13 and 14 earmarked as open days.
All four German maritime platforms, the frigates each carrying a Sea Lynx helicopter, will participate in tasks ranging from search and rescue through to boarding and gunnery with a South African Valour Class frigate and one of the Heroine Class Type 209 submarines.
Details of exact taskings to be practised during the exercise have not yet been released.
The Germans will take a welcome break from maritime action from March 20 to 22 when they will participate in the Navy Festival, a highlight of the Navy calendar before the end of the exercise and departure from Simon’s Town on March 23.
In addition to a Valour Class frigate and Type 209 submarine, the South African Navy is also expected to contribute one of the revamped strikecraft now serving as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as well as a Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) team for the exercise.
The airborne arm of the SANDF has committed a 35 Squadron C-47TP maritime surveillance aircraft, an embarked Super Lynx (22 Squadron), a pair of Oryx medium transport helicopters (also from 22 Squadron) and “two fighter jets” for the exercise.
A Special Forces team will support the Navy MRS team while the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) will provide medical task teams in addition to medical personnel aboard the various Navy platforms.
The aim of Good Hope is to strengthen military, particularly maritime, co-operation between the two countries via the sharing of maritime expertise.
The last exercise staged in 2012 saw the SA Navy put two of its Valour Class frigates – SAS Amatola and SAS Isandlwana – to sea along with the submarine SAS Queen Modjadji.