sitrep 19 - SA Special Forces flying the
South African flag high
Article by Captain ( Army) Owen Mushayi & Sub
Lieutenant Nombuso Mhlongo
Photos by Sub Lieutenant Nombuso Mhlongo & Petty
Officer Sithembiso Makuleni
SPIOENKOP was alongside in Goa various exercise planning
meetings took place. The Special Forces component of the
exercise was planned for both ashore and at sea. The
teams consisted of the SA Special Forces (Recce’s),
Brazilian Special Forces (Gurmec) and Indian Special
Forces element of all participating vessels assembled at
the Goa Air Force Base to commence training. The Special
Forces teams from the respective countries managed to
achieve the objective of the training programme within 4
days compared the normal period of 2 – 3 weeks.
The teams comprised of SA Special Forces (Recce’s),
Brazilian Special Forces Gurmec and Indian Special
Presentations from each Special Forces team, included
history, background, various flow of training and the
capabilities of their own equipment was given.
was divided into two smaller groups. The one group
proceeded with rope work incorporating a Sea King
helicopter from the host country. The rope work
consisted of fast-roping, repelling, and laddering while
the second group conducted urban training, consisting of
entry drills into a building and clearing of buildings.
concluded with a safety brief and freefall ground
The Sea King helicopter took off to an altitude of ten
thousand feet at the Goa Air Force Base which was the
drop zone for freefall jumpers to land. Each member had
to pack his own parachute for the next jump, after
completion a parachute descent. This was the hardest
part due to the humidity and extreme heat that India is
known for. Teams headed to the shooting range outside of
Goa for live shooting.
Urban and ship boarding technique training consisted of
members coming alongside a moving vessel with a Special
Forces Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat using various
techniques to get on board. After an intense training
programme, members stowed weapons and equipment,
loosened their boots and took time out to share
refreshments and enjoy each other’s company.
Teams at the shooting range
The Special Forces teams gathered early in the morning
to receive a briefing based on a scenario where a
non-compliant vessel (opposed boarding) had to be
members continued with preparations for the opposed
boarding, while team leaders planned the opposed
boarding. Team leaders briefed the rest of the team
members on how the opposed boarding was to unfold and
the position and role of each member in the team during
the final execution.
final execution of the Special Forces component of
Exercise IBSAMAR V – Opposed Boarding. The opposed
boarding was executed during daylight. Special Forces
operations would normally be undertaken in the cover of
darkness to maintain an element of surprise.