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4 mars 2015 3 04 /03 /mars /2015 17:45
Amani Africa ll work session

Amani Africa ll work session

 

04 March 2015 by Kim Helfrich – defenceWeb

 

Lesotho’s political instability has seen South Africa step into the breach to host the next stage of preparation for the much delayed African Standby Force (ASF).

 

The field training exercise Amani Africa ll was originally supposed to have been hosted by Lesotho last October but this was put on hold as a result of political turmoil in that country. South Africa was proposed and accepted as an alternate venue.

 

This saw a four day long technical work session at the Army College in Thaba Tshwane. It started last Thursday and ended on Tuesday.

 

A core planning team composed of an AU (African Union) element and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) came to South Africa’s military capital for the work session. It was led by Major General (ret) Samaila Lliya of Nigeria, Exercise Amani Africa ll Exercise Director. His support team included Brigadier General Paulo Francisco of Angola, Amani Africa ll Chief of Staff.

 

The planning session for Amani Africa ll, set down for the SA Army Combat Training Centre in October/November this year, was chaired by Rear Admiral (JG) Patrick Duze from the SA National Defence Force’s Joint Operations Division. SANDF officers representing the force’s arms of service and divisions also attended.

 

“SADC is hosting the Exercise, originally planned to have been conducted in the Kingdom of Lesotho late last year. Unfortunately, the political and security situation in Lesotho affected implementation of Exercise Amani Africa II timelines. This meant some critical activities planned for the host country to pave the way for the conduct of Amani Africa ll could not be undertaken in 2014 which necessitated a change of date,” Captain (SAN) Jaco Theunissen of Joint Operations said.

 

“South Africa has offered to host the Amani Africa ll field training exercise. This will pave the way for implementation of the remainder of the exercise cycle activities. SADC has requested the exercise be conducted in October/November.”

 

The planning session saw five main activities successfully undertaken. They were a political strategic retreat; AU, regional economic communities (RECs) and regional member states planning meeting; drafting a main events list and a main incident list; an evaluation seminar and strategic and mission headquarters training sessions.

 

“All objectives set for the technical work session were met and planning is well underway for a purposeful field training exercise that will be conducted efficiently and effectively,” Theunissen said adding the work session was one of the exercise activities that could not be staged in the original host country due to the unstable political situation in the mountain kingdom where voters went to the polls last week.

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 08:45
Eurocopter EC 135 Bundeswehr

Eurocopter EC 135 Bundeswehr

New Market: Airbus Helicopters' African customers include Lesotho, which has acquired the company's EC135 light utility helicopter for the Air Wing of its Defense Force.

 

Mar. 16, 2014 - By OSCAR NKALA – Defense News

 

BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE — Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd. (ESAL) says it plans to establish a permanent base in Kenya to conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) on all Airbus helicopters in Africa and parts of the Middle East, as the company anticipates growing force modernization requirements in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

The company, formerly Eurocopter, has recorded 35 percent growth in business in southern Africa since 2010, as countries in the region have increased investments in military aircraft, airborne law enforcement and civil emergency response capabilities.

 

In recent years, the company has supplied the EC145 helicopter to the Namibian Police Service, the EC135 to the Lesotho Defense Force’s Air Wing and a number of older Eurocopter models to the Botswana Defense Force, which are reportedly due for systems upgrades or replacement.

 

Arnaud Montalvo, CEO of ESAL, said the company’s move to Kenya is a response to a boom in the country’s civil aviation sector and the government’s drive to strengthen its military, law enforcement and conservation agencies, offering numerous sales opportunities.

 

“Originally, our activities were mostly in South Africa. In the past seven to eight years, we have expanded outside South Africa, mainly for law enforcement,” Montalvo said. “But in Kenya, [our market] is not only law enforcement, it is also other government agencies: Kenya Wildlife, Kenya Forestry, Kenya Pipeline, plus many civilian operators who are mostly in the utility sector. ... The Kenya police have growing needs and have issued a tender for a twin-engined helicopter.”

 

The base, to be located at Nairobi Wilson Airport, will be the company’s second in Africa. The existing base in South Africa includes an MRO center for Airbus Helicopter models in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and a training academy at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg. It also includes Africa’s first full-motion flight simulator, for training pilots and flight engineers operating the Super Puma helicopter, at the Sim-Aero training center at the O.R. Tambo International Airport, also in Johannesburg.

 

“Kenya and the surrounding region is a growth market for Airbus Helicopters, and Nairobi is perfectly located for the establishment of a base for sales and support to customers and operators in East Africa,” said ESL spokesman Linden Birns.

 

The timeframe for the move to Kenya is still being developed, he said.

 

Eurocopter’s move to Kenya follows market analysts Frost & Sullivan’s prediction that the value of the combined military and civilian helicopter market in the developing world, including the Middle East and Africa, will rise to $146.8 billion between 2014 and 2022.

 

A heavy slump in demand is expected in the European and North American markets, whose combined market value is estimated to rise to $9.7 billion in the same period.

 

In a report, “Global Helicopter & Systems Market: Capturing Growth Opportunities across the Rotorcraft Industry,” Frost & Sullivan said demand will be driven mostly by the ongoing platform renewal cycle that indicates more countries favor retrofitting platforms than buying new ones. It also will be driven by a growing demand for maintenance, upgrade services and the adoption of new mission and avionics systems.

 

“Emerging markets comprise significant opportunities among new helicopter procurements, with a forecast market size of $146.84 billion between 2014 and 2022 for military and civil new platform deliveries, and a related market size of $46.33 billion for service support during the same period,” according to the analysis.

 

Eurocopter’s growing business relationship saw Kenyan customers take delivery of five of the seven Eurocopter helicopters delivered to Africa last year. Kenya also accounted for four of the seven pipeline business orders won by ESAL last year.

 

Despite the shrinking base of the aviation sector in South Africa following the 2007-10 financial crisis, Montalvo said, ESAL has capitalized on increased activity by law enforcement in other southern African countries. Further regional sales are anticipated for new aircraft.

 

“We have introduced ... the EC145, with one delivered to the Namibian Police, and the EC135 to the Lesotho Defense Force. We expect to sell more helicopters to the Lesotho [Defense Force] in the medium term. They have aging aircraft to replace. They are still using an EC135 to replace a BO 105,” an older, German-built light utility helicopter, he said.

 

Montalvo said ESAL also hopes to build on its presence in the Angolan offshore oil and natural gas market by aggressively marketing its larger helicopters in the oil and gas support sectors on the east coast of Africa, from Mozambique to Kenya. It also seeks to expand its product support capabilities and introduce new products to Indian Ocean nations Mauritius, Mada­gascar and the Seychelles, as well as to Reunion, a French island territory.

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11 octobre 2013 5 11 /10 /octobre /2013 16:45
Lesotho to host African Standby Force exercise

 

11 October 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb

 

A planning meeting currently underway in Gaborone, Botswana, will finalise planning for a major field exercise in Lesotho next October in support of the African Standby Force’s (ASF) further development.

 

According to an AU statement, the three day planning conference of the Amani Africa ll field training exercise is in line with implementation of the ASF Roadmap lll.

 

“The overall objective of the exercise is to validate the capacity of the AU to mandate and employ a rapid deployment capability of the ASF as a start-up operation and to run a full multidimensional peace support operation,” General Sekouba Konate, AU representative for the operationalisation of the ASF said.

 

“By opting to equip the AU with the ASF, African leaders made a landmark decision in the light of the violent and resurgent conflicts that undermine our development efforts while taking a heavy toll in human lives.”

 

The Gaborone meeting is being attended by planners from the AU Commission, the regional economic communities and regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, the EU, UN and other partners.

 

It follows a July decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to operationalise an African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) as a precursor to the ASF. The decision was taken after an earlier meeting pointed out that lack of a force such as ACIRC could have prevented at least some of the violence that erupted in Mali in the first three months of the year.

 

As with the ASF, the plan is to have the ACIRC fully functional and operational by 2015.

 

While no details of participating countries for next year’s Lesotho exercise have yet been released, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda have pledged to implement the ACIRC decision.

 

Plans to establish the ASF have been on the AU Peace and Security Council agenda for more than a decade. AU member countries were slow in committing troops to the ASF, which officially came into being in 2007 when regional countries resolved to contribute troops to the ASG to defend member states from revolts and aggression. It was originally planned to be operational by 2010.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 17:45
New African Military Profile: Lesotho

10 July 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

The small Lesotho Defence Force has the task of protecting Lesotho's territory and sovereignty. The Force also supports the police and is used for transport and VIP duties. With South African and Indian help, Lesotho's military has been transformed into a professional service that no longer attempts to interfere in the political process. Click here to read more about Lesotho's armed forces.

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25 juin 2013 2 25 /06 /juin /2013 17:45
SANDF hosts first SADC surveillance commanders’ course

25 June 2013 by defenceWeb/SA Soldier

 

In a first for the South African Defence Intelligence College (SADIC) officers from nine Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries have successfully completed a surveillance commanders’ course.

 

The eight week long course is designed to give the 17 junior officers attending the practical skills needed to become capable surveillance commanders at sub-unit level.

 

Working at squadron level course attendees went through battlefield surveillance followed by a command and control module before tackling the final modules of warfare and battlefield procedures.

 

This, SA Soldier said, equips them to apply and execute responsible drills as troop commanders.

 

Proof of the willingness of those on course wanting to learn came with a student average of 81% across all modules.

 

Zambian Major Edgar Musanse, course chairman, said on completion of the course that the training was the first of its kind to be presented for the SADC brigade.

 

“The officers before you have successfully acquired the knowledge to see the brigade effectively implement its role in the SADC region,” he told a certificate ceremony.

 

SA National Defence Force (SANDF) director: special acquisitions Brigadier General Raymond Moroane, urged course attendees to maintain contact saying it was “a crucial part” of strengthening bilateral ties and diplomatic co-operation among SADC members.

 

Apart from the host country, South Africa, other SADC member states represented at the first surveillance commanders’ course were Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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