27 February 2015 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb
The quiet buzz around Simon’s Town in anticipation of Exercise Good Hope goes up in the decibel level on Monday when a gun salute marks the start of the bi-national exercise between the South African and German navies.
Between Monday and Friday, March 27, when the end exercise happens, German and South African warships and aircraft, fixed and rotary-winged, will take part in numerous exercises, both at sea and in port.
This is the sixth edition of the Good Hope exercise and the tasks set for participants range from navigation and transit exercises through to air defence, gunnery, surface, tactical, electronic warfare and casualty evacuation. Replenishment at sea (RAS) is another task, in which the German navy supply ship Berlin will be the major roleplayer. The firefighting skills of both navies will also be put to the test during a simulated harbour fire.
The maritime arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will have two platforms in action for the duration of the exercise. They are the Valour Class frigate, SAS Spioenkop (F147), under the command of Captain (SAN) Mark Boucher, and the Heroine Class submarine, SAS Manthatisi (S101), under the command of Commander Russell Beattie. The SA Air Force’s (SAAF) contribution comes in the form of Super Lynx embarked aboard the frigate and a pair of Oryx medium transport helicopters. All three are 22 Squadron assets and they will be joined by a 35 Squadron C-47TP.
Apart from the Berlin, other platforms in the German navy contingent are the three frigates Hessen (flagship), Karlsruhe and Brandenburg. Each has a maritime helicopter aboard.
The German participants in the exercise will take two breaks from maritime warfare activities for open days at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on March 13 and 14 and will also be in harbour at Simon’s town for the Navy Festival from March 20 to 22.
In addition to the four German vessels, South Africa will at the same time be hosting naval vessels from the United Kingdom and France. The Royal Navy’s Daring class destroyer HMS Dragon and supply vessel RFA Gold Rover have been visiting Simon’s Town and will call at Cape Town on March 4, while the French Navy patrol frigate FS Floreal will arrive on March 6.