Tropical storm Irina has effective scuppered the first part of Exercise Good Hope V that was to have commenced off Durban on Monday. Sources say a high sea state has prevented scheduled exercise tasks from being carried out safely.
Media reports say officials reported that Durban was hit by waves nearly 10 feet high as the storm approached and ships were ordered to stay in port.
The present exercise is the fifth bi-annual exercise between the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The SA Navy, in a statement, added that after a slow south-westerly passage by the vessels participating, the exercise will end in Simon’s Town on March 23.
“This exercise is designed to enhance military co-operation between the two countries as well as prepare for all aspects of maritime warfare including anti-piracy operations,” the statement said. The aim is to build interoperability and mutual understanding between the two forces as well as to enhance the SA Navy’s capability in terms of anti-piracy off the east coast of Africa.
“This year, the German Type 122 frigate, Lübeck will participate having just left the area of operations (anti-piracy patrols) off Somalia together with the South African Meko-class frigate, SAS Isandlwana, which is returning to South Africa from its anti-piracy patrols in the Mozambican Channel [Operation Copper].”
The SA Navy statement adds the German naval force includes two AgustaWestland Mk88 Lynx maritime helicopters (configured for surface search and anti-submarine warfare) as well as specialised marine forces. The South African exercise force includes another Meko-class frigate, the SAS Amatola, one AgustaWestland Mk64 Lynx maritime helicopter (configured for surface search), the Type-209 submarine, SAS Queen Modjadji I as well as a marine and Special Forces element.
The Navy says the Lübeck will also participate in the annual Navy Festival in Simon’s Town from March 16 to 18.