Wednesday 24 July 2013 20:02
US and South African soldiers will train to respond to humanitarian disasters and peace-keeping operations.(SABC)
Thousands of South African and American soldiers will embark in training exercises in the Eastern Cape this week to respond to humanitarian disasters and peace-keeping operations.
They include tactical exercises by the navy, army and airforce.
"I must commend the two forces, having experienced the co-ordination, co-operation, professionalism. We are on par with each other and we respect each other, as well as the reception. It is quite commendable to see the professional synergy from each other. Our Defence Force has shown a great deal of flexibility. We have embraced the opportunity with great zeal and enthusiasm," says the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Brigadier-General Sithabiso Mahlobo.
US Brigadier-General Peter Corey says planning stretched over a year. "The US military is technologic heavy. We use a lot of technology in the way we control our missions such as mission commanders, as well as our vehicles and communication systems," says Corey.
He says that the South African army is still, in many ways, using analogue processes and systems. "This is good for us to see that we have to understand that sometimes our technology might break down and we need to be able to operate in an analogue environment. And so we are learning a lot from the South Africans and perhaps re-learning because we used to be analogue as well," he added.
The exercise, Shared Accord 13, will also take place in Grahamstown and East London during the next two weeks. About 700 US military personnel will participate in the exercise. The US will bring experts in brigade operations, dismounted infantry tactics, airborne infantry tactics, civil affairs, medics, and maritime amphibious assault.
Skills will be shared as service members from both nations will teach and train each other to enhance knowledge and understanding of both nations' capabilities. US military personnel will bring equipment which will aid in the training, including the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle.
COMMENTS BY SONNY
Most of our soldiers are in the DRC, whose left to train with the Americans?
THE ANC MK WAR VETS....?
Or are they training to do "FUNERAL DRILL?"
How many SANDF soldiers will survive this exercise?