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The SA Air Force Contributes To Exercise UKUTHULA

Date: 13 November 2020

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Approximately 69 members of the SA Air Force are currently participating in Exercise UKUTHULA, with the purpose to provide support to the SA Army Students who are undergoing the Junior Command and Staff Course at the SA Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) Lohatla in the Northern Cape, over the period from 27 September-27 November 2020.

According to the Air Component Commander, Colonel Sly Matshaka, the mandate for the deployment of the SA Air Force is to provide battlefield surveillance, in a conventional warfare scenario and tactical training for the SA Air Force aircrew in both conventional warfare and peace support operations.

Colonel Matshaka also highlighted the importance of exposing the aircrew to operations with the SA Army, confirming and testing of SA Air Force doctrine in conventional warfare as well as renewing the aircrew competencies and currencies in a tactical environment.

For this Exercise, the SA Air Force is providing the following Air Support:

    Oryx for trooping and hot extraction training.
    Agusta for Vissrecce training.
    Rooivalk for Close Air Support.
    Hawks Lead-in Fighter Trainer for air to ground bombing missions.

Among the staff members present who ensured that the mission was carried out successfully, are representatives from various Squadrons who are responsible for planning from the helicopter, fighter, and transport groups.

Also involved and providing support are the South African Police Service, the Military Police Agency, SA Military Health Services and other SA Army support elements.

In addition, Colonel Matshaka unpacked the programme which consists of the real-time firefighting drills, done at Lohatla Shooting Range. 

Major Luxolo Vuyo Wakhaba, an A109 Light Utility Helicopter Commander, deployed from 19 Squadron at Air Force Base Hoedspruit, spoke on his duties to prepare for emergencies and Casualty Evacuation (casevac) missions.

He commended the support given by the SA Air Force and the Exercise Director, Colonel Hloka (SA Army Combat Training Centre) Lohatla, towards achieving the training objectives. 

Thus far in the Exercise, there has been no incident or matter of including ill-discipline from the deployed members. 

‘The morale of members and the positive spirit and the willingness to carry on is high all the time' says Colonel Matshaka.

Colonel Matshaka wishes to compliment all the Staff Personnel who are supporting him in his role as the Air Component Commander.

Information by Captain T. Mulaudzi and Photographs by Sapper S.H. Madondo | SA Army Combat Training Centre, Lohatla Northern Cape.

 

 


 
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