Lady boss for SAS Umzimkulu

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The appointment of Lieutenant Commander Nicolette le Roux as Officer Commanding SAS Umzimkulu means two of the SA Navy’s mine counter-measures vessels are now commanded by women.

Le Roux took over command from Commander EM Nyathi during a change of command parade at fleet headquarters, Simon’s town, recently.

She joins Lieutenant Commander Zimasa Mabela as the second woman to take charge of a mine counter-measures vessel. This squadron comprises mine hunters and minesweepers.

Le Roux has been in the Navy since 1998 and successfully completed Military Training for Officers (Part One) and NBCD Part One at the SA Naval College in Gordon’s Bay after which she obtained her B.Mil at the University of Stellenbosch.

She served as a junior officer in training aboard SAS Outeniqua and was appointed gunnery and navigation officer in 2004. After this she served as communication and survey officer aboard the Navy’s hydrographic vessel, SAS Protea.

In 2007 Le Roux became the first South African naval officer to attend the Category B hydrography survey course aboard HMS Drake in the United Kingdom port of Plymouth.

In August 2013 she was detached to complete her command detachment aboard what is today Mabela’s command, SAS Umhloti, and subsequently onto Umzimkulu.

In true Navy fashion he was piped aboard her vessel with the outgoing Officer Commanding receiving three cheers from the ship’s company as he passed in a RHIB.