The South African Navy has formulated a Reserve Force strategy at a Reserve indaba held in Simon’s Town, due to it being a “vital” component of the South African National Defence Force’s maritime arm of service.
“The Reserve is a vital part of our Navy. Members serve on a part-time basis but the contribution they make to the Navy as a whole is highly valued,” was part of the summation at the Navy Reserves indaba in Simon’s Town.
The indaba, titled “Reserves at Sea”, was co-ordinated by Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Rusty Higgs, with the objective of better utilising this part-time component.
The key message to come out of the gathering, attended by 170 delegates, was that Navy Reserves must generate trained individuals and teams whose skills will then be applied to deployments (both local and continental).
At the same time, support for the Navy’s efforts in connecting with all South Africans via maintenance of a broad national presence is another part of the future naval reserve strategy. This is in line with the “Peoples’ Navy” slogan adopted by Navy Chief Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu.
The necessity for an SANDF-wide reserve strategy was emphasised by Major General Roy Anderson, SANDF Reserve Force Chief. He told delegates it was a ministerial priority good for both citizenship and nation-building and had to be implemented.
The assessments and recommendations of the indaba have all been noted. Their implementation in the form of policies after a strategic review to see what works best for the maritime arm of service will be the final outcome of the indaba.
No timeframe was set for the policy aspect and its implementation.