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SANDF Armed Forces Day Capability Demonstration

The final planned event of the SANDF Armed Forces week was a Capability Demonstration on Table View Beach, the sketched scenario was a kidnapping of diplomats which were being held hostage in a building on the beach.

The SA Navy were actively involved in the demonstration with a variety of vessels from Frigates to Harbour Patrol vessels and even on of the Navy’s three Submarines.

SAS Manthatisi (Heroine Class 209 Type Submarine)

SAS Amatola Valour Class Frigate

A Zodiac Hurricane dropped two Navy Divers just beyond the breaker line, the divers then started swimming towards the beach to secure the area and mark a landing area for the SAAF Oryx helicopter, surprisingly the divers use AK47 and not the R4 or R5 probably due to its resistance to salt water. These operations would take place under the cover of darkness for demonstration purposes the exercise was done in daylight.

Zodiac Hurricane

Special Forces Divers

A Mine Hunter from the SA Navy, SAS Umzimkulu, was posing as a foreign vessel that was meant to extract the hostages and enemy combatants from the beach. The Frigate SAS Speionkop was called on to take control of the enemy vessel as it was attempting to hinder the deployment of Special Forces divers from the Submarine SAS Manthatisi. A Super Lynx helicopter was launched from the frigate in a command roll for the operation.

A Super Lynx Helicopter

SAS Umzimkulu

A Hercules C130BZ from 28 Squadron was deployed with a boat and Special Force divers for the boat and driver drop, unfortunately it was decided to not do the drop due to extreme high winds. The C130 did however do a flypast at 500ft the altitude that the drop would have taken place. The Divers were then deployed from the Submarine and quickly took control took control of the “foreign vessel”.

Hercules C130BZ

Further recon was called for by the commander of the operation and the SAAF responded by scrambling two BAE Hawks and Two JAS39 Gripens, the Hawks would do the recon while being protected by the Gripens. Once the Jets had done their recon sweep the commander decided that the rescue could go ahead and the SAAF was once again called on to insert a team of Special Force Operators to infiltrate and rescue the hostages.

BAE Hawk

JAS39 Gripen

The Oryx landed and quickly deployed the team under the watchful eye of two 16 Squadron Rooivalk, the Rooivalk provided top-cover for the troops on the ground. The rescue team made their way to the house and engaged the “enemy”.


Rooivalk Attack Helicopter

The hostages were then led onto the beach for extraction by the Navy on a Zodiac Hurricane while the extraction was taking place, they started drawing fire from enemy forces in the area. The SAAF was once again called on to assist the ground forces, the Hawks and Gripens, that were holding off-shore, were called in form a bombing run along the beach. The Jets were then called in for a strafing run to neutralize any enemy forces that may have survived the bombs. As they departed the area flares were deployed in case of a missile attack.

Hostage being led to the beach

Hawk deploying flares


An Orxy returned with a team to secure the area they were once again supported by the two Rooivalk helicopters, the Rooivalk opened fire with their nose mounted 20mm cannons while the support team were fast-roping from the Oryx. The ground team immediately went into action with their mortars and small arms fire, all this was still under the top cover provided by the two Rooivalk.

One of the ground team was “injured” the medical team from 7 Medical Battalion were called on to stabilize the injured soldier. An advanced life support doctor was inserted by a SAAF Agusta A109 helicopter to treat the downed soldier. As soon as the patient is ready for transport the team on the ground signalled by way of a smoke grenade to the Oryx helicopter to come and extract the patient. He was airlifted in a stretcher into the Oryx and removed for further medical care.

Agusta A109

Mock operations like this are essential to keep all arms of the SANDF battle ready to execute their mandate of protecting South African citizens from all threats both locally and from outside our borders.

The SANDF managed to deploy over 8000 troops along with equipment from all over South Africa, which is a massive task for any military and all this was done with extremely low incidents, at present we are aware of two casualties, one was an accident on-route to Cape Town and one of our soldiers was unfortunately fatally injured in a hit-and-run incident while deployed in Cape town.

WELL DONE SANDF!!! You have done yourself proud.

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