South Africa and United States of America to execute a Joint Military Exercise in the Northern Cape
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will host a joint exercise over the period 17 July to 4 August 2017 at the South African Army Combat Training Centre (SAA CTC) in Lohatla, Northern Cape. The aim of this exercise is to conduct a bilateral peace support operation (PSO) exercise known as EXERCISE SHARED ACCORD 2017.
This exercise was planned as a result of the Defence Committee discussions that took place in 2015 between the RSA and the USA and is a follow-up of EX SHARED ACCORD held in 2011 and 2013.
The exercise will be based on a scenario where a Combined RSA/US Task Group (CTG) will conduct a Peace Support Operation and Intervention operations under a United Nations (UN) Chapter 7 Mandate.
This is the more robust mandate whereby belligerent forces are forced to disengage and to discontinue the armed conflict within the region of the exercise area of Lohatla.
The exercise officially commenced on the 3rd of July 2017, when the movement of forces started as part of the mobilisation phase.
The field training phase will start on the 17th July 2017 and the participating forces will return to their respective basis on the 4th of August 2017.
The US Army will exercise strategic lift by means of sea, air and road movement and the SANDF will exercise road movement support and replenishment.
This mobilisation will be done from various and multiple locations in South Africa to the Northern Cape with the aim to strengthen a bi-lateral relationship between US/RSA forces that allows mutual benefit to improve understanding of partnered operations with a highly capable allied force.
The main port of Entry will be the Upington Airport and a number of C-17 aircraft from the United States Air Force will land on the airport to off-load equipment and personnel over the period 10 to 15 July 2017.
On completion of the exercise the movement and strategic lift will reverse during demobilisation over the period 3 to 10 August 2017 from the same airport.
During the same period various convoys will travel to the training area with the most significant one being that of US Army Combat vehicles between Cape Town and the Northern Cape.
The exercise will also focus on inter-operability during military actions on various subjects.
These will include shared interest in Tactics, Techniques and Procedures between RSA and USA Forces, Individual Skills Training, Bush craft, Counter Improvised Explosive Devices drills (C-IED) and night operations as well as a UN Peace Keeping scenario that incorporates elements of US/RSA recent experience such as strong point defence, direct action and targeted offensive operations.
Source: Department of Defence