The SA Navy says in the latest Department of Defence annual report that a series of training exercises and events over the last year has shown it to be both competent and credible.
The sea service says the judgement follows joint and multinational exercises with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Germany, France, the United States and Brazil.
“A significant achievement was the credible performance of the SA Navy with the NATO Task Group during Exercise AMAZOLO, held in South African waters, whilst Exercise GOOD HOPE III enabled the SA Navy to test its frigate doctrine, tactics and interoperability with the German Navy and Air Force.
“Exercises held with the navies of Brazil, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, the Netherlands, Tanzania
and the United States of America provided the opportunity to improve interoperability with modern and well-established navies,” the report added.
“These exercises served to confirm the SA Navy as a competent and credible maritime force.
“The deployment of SAS Amatola to the United Kingdom and the successful completion of the Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) work-up inspection, her participation in the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi, as well as the deployment of SAS Mendi to Brazil and Ghana, provided opportunities to test deployment and support of maritime assets over long distances.”
The Amatola last year became the first SA ship to participate in the BOST programme, described by the Royal Navy as a “demanding but rewarding 6 week period, during which time the whole ship’s organisation is thoroughly trained, with the objective being to ensure that a … ship is at the right level of operational capability to progress to the multi-national, task group training…”
A ship in the BOST programme, which the SA Navy is reportedly to replicate at Simon`s Town, includes five weeks at sea and begins with a series of basic exercises “concentrating on training and guidance”. Each week includes training events from Monday to Wednesday and a practical exercise on Thursday.
“Thursday is War Day! As many as fifteen warships and auxiliaries form a multi-national task group operating in the shallow waters off the fictitious states of Brownia and Ginger. The coalition forces will come under attack from air, surface and sub-surface threats. Each Weekly War has a different setting and ships are exposed to a multitude of different platforms and weapon systems, to equip them with the skills necessary to combat the proliferation of conventional arms worldwide.”