SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE PARTICIATING IN SADC HUMANITARIAN RELIEF EXERCISE BLUE KUNENE

PRETORIA, Personnel of the South African Air Force (SAAF) are participating in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) humanitarian relief exercise, Blue Kunene, being held in Oshana Region (Province) in neighbouring Namibia.

The two-week long exercise aims to prepare airborne elements of the air forces of members States of the SADC, air arms and air wings for rapid deployment in disaster situations and subsequent humanitarian crises relief operations, including medical and other aid in the region and beyond.

It is being conducted under the auspices of the Standing Aviation Committee (SAC) of the SADC-Inter State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) and involves the participation of some 1,000 personnel. The participating countries are Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique.

According to an SAAF statement here Sunday, the exercise conforms with Article 13 of the African Union (AU) Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the AU Peace and Security Council which highlights the functional aspects of the African Standby Force.

By the end of this exercise, it is expected that operational lessons being learnt can be utilised for future exercises, and most importantly, a SADC Strategy Airlift Concept can be developed.

In the next 10 days or so, this exercise is expected to distribute more than 400 tons of food aid in the Kunene region, in the constituency of Opuwo Rural, Epupa and Sesfontein and this will be done in conjunction with the office of the Namibian Prime Minister Disaster Risk Management Unit.

Additionally, medical outreach programmes will be conducted in the form of screening and the treatment of various ailments around the Kunene region.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK