Joint Australian/South African naval exercise on the cards


While there were no SA Navy (SAN) ships taking part in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) international fleet review earlier this month, the possibility of a joint Australian/South Africa maritime exercise was discussed.

The Navy’s second most senior sailor, Deputy Chief Rear Admiral Mosuwa Hlongwane, represented the country at the international fleet review and spoke with RAN Chief Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.

Their discussions centred round a possible joint exercise in South African waters in 2015 as well as a visit from a RAN task team to benchmark with the maritime arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

Hlongwane’s visit was ahead of Australia taking over the chairmanship of IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium) currently headed by SAN Chief, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu. This will happen at the next IONS symposium in Perth, Western Australia, next year.

In March this year Mudimu launched the first edition of the IONS Newsletter, a journal dedicated to naval matters affecting Indian Ocean littoral countries. It ran to 107 pages the same as the second, published in July.

Speaking at the journal launch in Pretoria, Mudimu indicated the publication was planned to be “informative and contemporary” in its quest to provide a legacy of naval learning.

That it is succeeding can be judged by the SAN Chief’s foreword to the second edition.
“Each article in the publication’s first edition highlighted, in letter and spirit, the fact it has achieved its anticipated position as a platform for expressing views, opinions and concerns and to highlight the diverse activities of IONS,” he wrote.

The 35 IONS member countries are Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.