28.09.2015 by Sub Lieutenant Doreen Oosthuizen - navy.mil.za
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General D.M Mgwebi invited the Chiefs of Military Services and Divisions, maritime stake holders and the media to view a capability demonstration on board the South African Naval Hydrographical Survey vessel, SAS PROTEA. The capability demonstration formed part of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) joint and Multi-National Maritime EXERCISE OXIDE 2015. French (FNS FLOREAL) and South African Naval vessels (SAS PROTEA and SAS ISAAC DYOBHA) and support forces have been in the area of operations since the beginning of September. EXERCISE OXIDE takes place every two years between the South Indian Ocean Naval Forces (FAZSOI) and the SANDF.
The capability demonstration that took place on 24 September showcased the combined operational and tactical procedures between the SANDF’s four Arms of Services. The South African marines from the Maritime Reaction Squadron and 4 Special Forces Regiment boarded the South African Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, SAS ISAAC DYOBHA.
The SAS ISAAC DYOBHA (simulating a vessel in distress) lay in close proximity of the SAS PROTEA to ensure a perfect vantage point for viewing. The demonstration included marines performing an un-opposed a boarding by sea boat, a search and seizure of ‘pirates’, big bangs, smoke, marines being vertically dropped on the deck of the SAS ISAAC DYOBHA by a South African Air Force ORYX helicopter and a man-overboard simulation. The South African Air Force’s Maritime Surveillance Aircraft dropped a life raft during the fly-pass to simulate a Search And Rescue scenario while running commentary was broadcast to explain the sequence of events to the guests who paid close attention to the demonstration from the SAS PROTEA’s flight deck.
The SAS PROTEA treated guests the evening with a cocktail function on board where the day’s display was praised by the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant-General D.M. Mgwebi, the Commander Task Group, Captain (South African Navy) M. Nkomonde and the French Ambassador, Elizabeth Barbier who all thanked Richards Bay for the warm welcome and highlighting the importance of forces’ being able to perform readiness training to conduct unified land and sea operations.