Ibsamar naval exercise progressing well, despite weather


High winds and rough seas are continuing to cause complications for the sailors participating in the multinational maritime exercise Ibsamar III around the Cape Peninsula.

The naval forces of South African, Brazil and India are partaking in sea-going exercises under Ibsamar III, which is being conducted on the South West Coast of South Africa over the period 10 to 26 October 2012. Although South Africa is hosting Ibsamar III, Brazil is leading the Exercise.

Following hot on the heels of the highly successful Exercise Atlasur IX (between South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay), the first sea phase, which was due to commence on 15 October, was delayed by a day as a powerful South Easter wind and rough seas prevented the naval task group from proceeding to sea from Simon’s Town Naval Base.

Once underway, the first day involved cross deck landings, providing the helicopter pilots and flight deck crews the opportunity to certify qualifications. The Navy said that this was particularly challenging as they were conducted in very strong wind and high swell conditions. The Brazilian Lynx made use of the harpoon grid aboard the South African frigate SAS Amatola as winds gusted to over 20 knots, while the heavier Indian Sea King helicopter landed without problems. The Indian Alouette III cross deck landing exercise was postponed due to strong wind conditions exceeding the helicopter’s flight safety parameters.

The Task Group, under the command of Capt (BN) ML Malschitzky, performed night gunnery exercises and then undertook an uncomfortable night’s steaming. After the weather conditions deteriorated during day two in the exercise areas south of Cape Point, the decision was made for the Task Group to reposition itself within sheltered False Bay to continue with the planned activities. This included a Photo Exercise and Replenishment at Sea exercises.

The weather conditions improved the following day. The Task Group berthed in Table Bay Harbour for the weekend of 20 and 21 October so that the general public could visit the ships.

The second sea phase commenced on Monday 22 October with the weather playing along, but unfortunately the Argentinian Navy corvette ARA Espora (P-41) had to return to Simon’s Town as a result of experiencing problems with her generators. Once again, strong winds were blowing.

This second sea phase will include a simulated humanitarian and evacuation assistance exercise in which a small coastal community has been affected by a military incursion. This Disaster Exercise will take place in Saldanha Bay on 25 October.