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SUID-AFRIKAANSE LEER

Samestelling

Die SA Leer is saamgestel uit 'n Voltydse en 'n Deeltydse Mag. Die Voltydse Mag bestaan uit 'n betreklik klein kerngroep, te wete die Staande Mag wat aangevul word deur dienspligtiges wat hul aanvanklike diensplig ondergaan.

Die Deeltydse Mag, wat die grootste deel van die Leer se slaankrag uitmaak, bestaan uit die Burgermag en die Kommandomag.

Missies

Die SA Leer isderhalwe oorwegend 'n burgermag met drie hoofmissies: Die landwaartse verdediging van Suid-Afrika; samewerking met die S A Polisie in die handhawing van wet en orde in die RSA; en hulpverlening aan burgerlike owerhede ten opsigte van noodlenigingsaksies.

Organisasie

Ten einde hierdie funksies te verrig, is die SA Leer in twee hoofkomponente verdeel, al 'n Konvensionele Mag en 'n Gebiedsmag.

Die Konvensionele Mag

Die Konvensionele Mag bestaan uit twee divisies en een outonome valskermbrigade. Elke divisie beskik oor drie gemeganiseerde brigades. Indien omstandighede dit vereis, kan 'n addisionele voltydse magbrigade, wat onafhanklik of saam met die deeltydse magte kan optree, saam­gestel word.

Elke brigade is saamgestel uit een tenkregiment, twee gemeganiseerde infanteriebataljons, 'n pantserkarregiment, 'n artillerieregiment, 'n genieregiment, 'n veldwerk plaas en sein en onderhoudseenhede.

Die valskermbrigade beskik oor drie bataljons en 'n regiment ligte artillerie toegerus met 120 mm mortiere en toepaslike ondersteuningseenhede. Die Konvensionele Mag word bykans algeheel deur Burgermaglede beman, terwyl Staandemaglede hoofsaaklik die boonste bevels, staf en sleutel administratiewe poste beklee.

Soos sy naam en struktuur implisiet aandui, is hierdie mag daarop ingestel om konvensionele maar hoe mobiliteitsoperasies te voer. Dit geskied dikwels oor lang afstande en gebiede met swak padverbindings en 'n ontoereikende infrastruktuur.

Sy gemeganiseerde slaankrag le opgesluit in die taai Ratel infanteriegevegsvoertuig, die kragtige Olifant tenk, die beweeglike Rooikat pantserkar en die gesofistikeerde G-5 en G-6 artilleriestelsels. Hierdie wapenstelsels word gerugsteun deur 'n reeks buitengewoon taai logistieke voertuie.

Die Gebiedsmag

Die Gebiedsmag se area van optrede beslaan die hele RSA wat in tien streekskommandemente en een militere gebied onderyerdeel is. Hierdie kommandemente (met hul hoof-kwartiere tussen hakies aangedui) is: Westelike Provinsie (Kaapstad); Oostelike Provinsie-(Port Elizabeth); Noord-Kaap (Kimberley); Oranje-Vrystaat (Bloemfontein); Noord-Transvaal (Pretoria); Witwatersrand . (Johannesburg); Noordwestelike Kommandement (Potchefstroom); Oos-Transvaal (Nelspruit); Natal (Durban); en Verre Noord (Pietersburg). Die militere gebied is die van Walvisbaai.

Die Gebiedsmag is 'n samestelling van gebiedsgebonde eenhede al Kommando's, Burgermageenhede en 'n aantal opleidingseenhede wat operasioneel aangewend kan word. Bykans al hierdie eenhede word as ligte infanterie toegerus en opgelei vir aanwending in 'n teeninsurgensie rol. Dit sluit in die voorkoming van terroriste insypeling in die gebiede aan hul toevertrou en gebiedsbeskerming vir alle bevolkingsgroepe teen dade van terreur en sabotasie.

Teeninsurgensie operasies stel hoe eise ten opsigte van mobiliteit. Derhalwe steun eenhede van die Gebiedsmag swaar op mynwerende voertuie soos die mynbeskermde Buffel personeeldraer, helikopters, en in bepaalde gevalle, selfs motorfietse en perde. Enkele eenhede soos 4 SA Infanteriebataljon en 8 SA Infanteriebataljon is met Ratel infanteriegevegsvoertuie toegerus en word derhalwe as gemeganiseerde infanterie beskou. Sommige kommande­mente beskik ook oor pantserkareenhede wat gebieds patrolleringstake uitvoer.

Hulpverlening in tye van nood of na natuurlike rampe tel ook onder die verantwoordelikhede van die kommande­mente, en opheffingswerk onder die plaaslike bevolking van onderontwikkelde areas in hulle verantwoordelik heidsgebied is 'n verdere belangrike taak.

Twee kommandemente, al Verre Noord en Oos-Transvaal, wat vir die beskerming van die grootste gedeelte van die RSA se noord en oosgrense verantwoordelik is, word as operasionele subteaters geklassifiseer. Hulle is verant­woordelik vir die beskerming van hulle gebiede teen 'n moontlike konvensionele bedreiging van buite die landsgrense af. Vir die doel word elemente van die Konvensio­nele Mag onder bevel van die kommandemente geplaas. Daar bestaan ook 'n derde subteater, al die Westelike Subteater, wat verantwoordelik is vir alle operasies in en vanuit die westelike deel van die RSA.

Dit is dus ooglopend dat die daadwerklike uitvoering van die SA Leer se missies tans hoofsaaklik by die Gebiedsmag in die onderskeie kommandemente berus.

SA Leerhoofkwartier

Oorhoofse beheer oor beide die Konvensionele en die Gebiedsmag word deur die Hoof van die Leer en sy Generale Staf uitgeoefen. SA Leerhoofkwartier in Pretoria het vyf stafafdelings wat verantwoordelik is vir onderskeidelik personeel, inligting, operasies, logistiek en finansies. Die Leer se Inspekteur-generaal sien toe dat eenvormige hoe standaarde ten opsigte van opleiding en operasionele paraatheid gehandhaaf word.

Diensplig

Ingevolge die Wysigingswet op Verdediging (Wet 103 van 1982), is alle blanke burgers in die ouderdomsgroep 18-55 aan diensplig onderhewig. Daar is jaarliks twee innames, al in Februarie en Augustus. Die meerderheid van hierdie innames word toegewys aan die SA Leer, die grootste van die vier Weermagsdele.

Dienspligtiges word aan verskeie basisse en installasies toegewys en die eerste tien weke word aan basiese oplei­ding gewy. Dit word verder opgevolg deur spesialisonder-rig wat op die dienspligtige se spesifieke korps of eenheid van toepassing is.

Na 'n opleidingstydperk van ses tot elf maande word hulle vir die oorblywende gedeelte van hul aanvanklike diensplig van twee jaar na operasionele en ander eenhede of hoofkwartiere uitgeplaas.

Hierdie groep soldate wat met hul aanvanklike diensplig besig is, staan as dienspligtiges bekend en vorm deel van die Leer se Voltydse Mag.

Opleiding

Die sukses wat op die slagveld behaal word, is afhanklik van goed opgeleide leiers en soldate.

Dienspligtiges ontvang hul basiese, individuele en gesamentlike opleiding by hul onderskeie eenhede. In die Deeltydse Mag word opleiding op 'n deurlopende of afgebroke grondslag voortgesit met 'n jaarlikse maksimum van twaalf dae in die Kommando's en dertig dae in die Burgermag. Lede van die teeninsurgensiemag word in hul onder­skeie kommandemente opgelei, terwyl diegene in die Kon­vensionele Mag opgelei word deur hul formasie hoofkwartier, normaalweg by die Leergevegskool te Lohatlha in die Noordwes-Kaap. Hierdie skool met sy groot opleidingsgebied en puik fasiliteite is besonder geskik vir alle soorte konvensionele oefeninge. Leiers en spesialiste van alle range word by hul onderskeie korpsskole opgelei. Die SA Leerkollege op Voortrekkerhoogte verskaf bevel en stafopleiding aan offisiere van die Staande Mag, Burgermag en die Kommandomag. Dit bied ook kwalifiserende kursusse vir adjudant en senior onderoffisiere aan.

Kleurling en Swart Soldate

'n Groot aantal nie-blanke soldate dien as vrywilligers in die SA Leer. Hul diensvoorwaardes en loopbaangeleenthede is dieselfde as die van hul blanke ewekniee.

Kleurlingsoldate word in die meeste korpse van die Leer aangetref. Hulle het reeds in die Eerste Wereldoorlog gedien. Tans is daar twee Kleurlinginfanterie eenhede in die Kaapse Skiereiland waar vrywilligers vir minstens twee jaar dien. 'n Derde Kleurlinginfanterie eenheid, gestasioneer te Midlands naby Kimberley, sal in 1990 met opleiding begin. Na hul basiese opleiding word hulle hoof-saaklik in 'n teeninsurgensierol aangewend.

By 'n onderhoudseenheid wat naby Kaapstad gevestig is, word Kleurlinge vir die Krygsbehoeftedienskorps opgelei. Gekeurde lede word ook die geleentheid gebied om hulself as offisiere aan of die Infanterieskool of die Krygsbehoeftediensskool te bekwaam.

Na voltooiing van hul aanvanklike vrywillige diens, kan diegene wat 'n loopbaan in die Leer wil volg, dit doen deur of in die Kaapse Regiment ('n Burgermageenheid) te dien, of by die Staande Mag aan te sluit. In laasgenoemde geval kan die lid by een van verskeie korpse ingedeel word.

By 1 Spesiale Opleidingseenheid in Kimberley word vrywilligers oor 'n tydperk van ses maande opgelei in verskeie ambagte soos messelwerk, paneelklopwerk en motorherstelwerk.

Daar is ook 'n aantal swart streekseenhede in die RSA: 21 Bataljon by Lenz aan die Witwatersrand, 111 Bataljon in Oos-Transvaal, 113 Bataljon in die ooste van Kommandement Verre Noord, 115 Bataljon naby KwaNdebele, 116 Bataljon te Messina, 117 Bataljon te Soekmekaar in Noord-Transvaal, 121 Bataljon in Noord-Zoeloeland en 151 Batal­jon in Qwa-Qwa. Die beroemde 32 Bataljon, wat met groot welslae aan die stryd teen SWAPO in Namibia deelgeneem het, het in die eerste helfte van 1989 na 'n nuwe basis te Pomfret in die Noord-Kaap verhuis.

Swart soldate word aan die onderskeie korpse toegewys en ondergaan toepaslike opleiding aan die korpsskole. Diegene met die vereiste kwalifikasie (minstens matriek) word die geleentheid gebied om hul as offisiere te be­kwaam.

Die sentrums vir volwasse onderwys wat in samewerking met die Departement van Onderwys en Opleiding vir swart eenhede gestig is, verdien besondere vermelding. Hierdie sentrums bied aan swart soldate en hul gesinslede die geleentheid om hul opvoedkundige kwalifikasies te verbeter. Onderrig word gegee deur gekwalifiseerde onderwysers wat hul diensplig doen.

Die SA Infanteriekorps

Die SA Infanteriekorps (verreweg die grootste korps in die Leer) kan as die ruggraat van die SA Leer beskou word. Die moderne infanterie word breedweg in gemotoriseerde, gemeganiseerde en lugvervoerde eenhede onderverdeel, maar die Suid-Afrikaanse infanterie het ook 'n klein kontingent berede spesialiste wat in die voer van teeninsurgensie operasies van perde en motorfietse ge-bruik maak. Patrollie en 'snuffelhonde' het reeds goed rekenskap van hulself in die teeninsurgensiestryd gegee en hulle word ook in die geledere van die infanterie aangetref.

Die moderne infanterie beskik oor 'n indrukwekkende arsenaal van kort tot medium afstand wapens waarmee vuurkrag aansienlik verhoog word. Die basiese persoonlike wapen van die Suid-Afrikaanse infanterie is die gas-werkende 7,62 mm aanvalsgeweer (R-1, R-2 en R-3) of die meer resente weergawe, die 5,56 mm R-4 aanvalsgeweer. Die 9 mm submasjiengeweer (S-l en BMX) en die 37 mm en 40 mm granaatwerpers vul die infanteris se vuurkrag vermoe oor 'n kort afstand verder aan. Die standaard veeldoelige masjiengeweer is die SS-77, ofskoon die ouer FN Mag en MG-4 masjiengewere steeds gebruik word. Hierdie wapens vuur almal die standaard 7,62 x 51NAVO-patroon.

Die 60 mm M-l, M-4 en 81 mm M-3 mortier is die infan­teris se persoonlike artillerie en die RPG-7V tenkafweer vuurpyllanseerder (wat deur die soldaat gedra kan word) is 'n onmiddellike vuursteunwapen teen vyandelike pantser.

Die gemeganiseerde infanterie se gevegsvoertuig is die bekende Ratel. Hierdie wielaangedrewe voertuig se hoof bewapening kan wissel van die 20 mm bandgevoerde kanon en die 60 mm agterlaaimortier tot die 81 mm voorlaaimortier en die 90 mm kanon wat in 'n tenkafweerrol gebruik word. Die sekondere bewapening bestaan uit twee of drie 7,62 mm masjiengewere en rookgranaatlanseerders.

Die gemptoriseerde infanterie se primere mynbeskermde, wielaangedrewe en gepantserde personeeldraer is die Buffel.

Die SA Artillerie

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Artillerie het 'n lang en trotse tradisie. Sy hooffunksie is die lewering van langafstand-vuursteun aan pantser en infanterie vir die voile duur van operasies.

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Artillerie roem daarop dat dit oor een van die beste medium-kanonne ter wereld beskik. Die G-5 155 mm-kanon/houwitser, wat algeheel in Suid-Afrika deur Krygkor ontwikkel is, het 'n reikafstand van bykans 40 kilometer. Die selfaangedrewe weergawe (G-6) van hierdie kanon wat ontwerp is om gepantserde en gemeganiseerde formasies te ondersteun, is op 'n wielonderstel gemonteer. Met 'n massa van 37 metrieke ton kan die G-6 'n ruveldsnelheid van tot 40 km per uur behaal. Die G-2 140 mm medium-kanon (onder veterane van die Tweede Wereldoorlog as die 5,5 duim-kanon bekend) word steeds gebruik, maar word aan diens onttrek. Nog 'n artilleriewa-pen wat weldra aan diens onttrek en in reserwe geplaas sal word, is die G-4 155 mm-kanon/houwitser met 'n maksimum reikafstand van 23 500 meter. Die G-l 80 mm veld kanon, wat onder kanonniers van die Tweede Wereld­oorlog as die 25-ponder bekend staan, word nou hoofsaaklik vir seremoniele en opleidingsdoeleindes gebruik.

Die 127 mm meervoudige vuurpyllanseerder kan met sy 24 buise 'n vuurtempo van 60 vuurpyle per minuut oor 'n afstand van tot 22 000 meter handhaaf. Dit word hoofsaaklik gebruik om konsentrasies van vyandelike artillerie te neutraliseer en om gekonsentreerde vuur op die vyand se agtergebied af te bring. Die lanseerder, wat op 'n 2 ton vragmotor gemonteer is, is besonder mobiel en lig wat dit een van die beste stelsels in sy soort ter wereld maak.

Die SA Lugafweer

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Lugafweer, wat in noue samewerking met die SA Lugmag optree, is vir die verdediging van gevegsformasies teen skeervlugaanvalle verantwoordelik. Die Leer se primere lugafweergeskut is die radarbeheerde 35 mm GDF-002-tweelinglugafweerkanon en die 20 mm-GAI - CO1 en GAI - BO1 met optiese visier. Die selfaange­drewe 20 mm-kanon wat op die onderstel van 'n mynbe-skermde SAMIL-20 gemonteer is, staan as die Ystervark bekend.

Die ppsporing en volging van teikens word met behulp van die Super Fledermaus- en LPD-20-radarstelsels ge-doen.

Die SA Pantserkorps

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Pantserkorps se hoofslagtenk is die Olifant MK 1A met 'n 105 mm kanon as hoofbewapening. Die Olifant, wat uit die ou Centurion tenk ontwikkel, maar aansienlik verbeter is in terme van enjinkrag, vering, aandrywing en vuurleiding, is 'n gedugte gevegsvoertuig. Met 'n massa van 56 ton kan dit 'n padspoed van 45 kilometer per uur handhaaf.

Tot nou toe (1989) was die Eland pantserkar die standaard verkenningsvoertuig van die Leer ofskoon dit ook met welslae as 'n stormwapen en tenkjaer aan die oorlogsfront in Angola gebruik is. Die Eland-90, met sy 90 mm laeterugloopkanon word in 'n konvensionele rol as pant­serkar deur konvensionele pantserformasies aangewend, terwyl die Eland-60 met sy 60 mm agterlaaimortier ont­wikkel is vir verkenning en patrollering tydens teeninsurgensie-operasies. Afhangende van die tipe terrein, kan die Eland 'n padspoed van 90 kilometer per uur en 'n bestekafstand van tussen 240 en 450 kilometer, handhaaf.

Die Rooikat voertuig, wat onlangs bekendgestel is, sal na verwagting teen die einde van 1989 operasioneel in diens gestel word. Dit sal die Eland as die Leer se standaard gepantseerde verkenningsvoertuig vervang. Die Rooikat het 'n besondere lae profiel ondanks 'n massa van 27 ton en sy 76 mm-kanon beskik oor 'n hoe pantserbrekende trefkrag. Dit kan 'n padspoed van tot 120 kilometer per uur behaal en het 'n operasionele ryafstand van tot 1 000 kilometer. Sy hoe mobiliteit, vuurkrag en betroubaarheid maak van die Rooikat 'n gevegsvoertuig wat besonder geskik is vir Suider-Afrikaanse toestande.

Die SA Geniekorps

Die Leer se Geniekorps het 'n indrukwekkende rekord van prestasies wat dikwels onder uiters moeilike toestande behaal is. In sowel konvensionele as onkonvensionele oorlo'e' het hulle paaie oopgehou, tydelike brue oor riviere opgerig, vyandelike myne onskadelik gemaak, vir die voorsiening van water gesorg en die fisiese infrastruktuur daargestel waarsonder die gevegselemente nie sou kon vorder nie. Ander genietake sluit opmetingswerk en die voorbereiding van kaarte vir die SAW in.

Die SA Seinkorps

Lede van die Seinkorps is verantwoordelik vir die onderhoud van telefoon, radio, teleks en faksimilee-verbin-dings binne die Leer en tussen die Leer en ander vertakkinge van die SAW. Hulle hanteer ook die voorsiening van elektriese krag aan hoofkwartiere en eenhede asook die onderhoud van die meeste soorte elektroniese toerusting.

Die SA Leerinligtingkorps

Die beste operasionele en logistiese vaardighede is van min waarde as die ligging, samestelling en oogmerke van die vyand nie met spoed en noukeurigheid geidentifiseer kan word nie. Die verantwoordelikheid vir hierdie taak berus by die inligtingsoffisiere en klerke by al die hoof­kwartiere van die Leer. Hulle versamel, vergelyk en ontleed alle beskikbare informasie oor die vyand, die terrein en die plaaslike infrastruktuur en bevolking ten einde vir die bevelvoerder en sy operasiestaf'n bruikbare prentjie saam te stel.

Heelwat tyd word natuurlik ook bestee aan die bestude-ring van die teorie van vyandelike organisasie en doktrine. Ander inligtingstake is die voorkoming van die vyand se informasie-insamelingsaktiwiteite, die veiligheid van die eie magte en die neutralisering van vyandelike propa­ganda.

Die SA Korps van Militere Polisie

Die militere polisie vervul die uiters belangrike funksies van 'n polisiemag in die Leer wat gedurende oorloe dik-wels buite die bereik van die burgerlike polisie optree. Hierbenewens is die militere polisie ook verantwoordelik vir verkeersbeheer na en van asook in die gevegsgebied.

Tegniese Dienskorps

Die lede van hierdie korps kan beskou word as die Leer se reparateurs. Hulle onderhou, herstel en yernuwe alle tegniese Leertoerusting (seintoerusting uitgesluit). Vir hulle hou Olifant tenks, Ratel infanteriegevegsvoertuie, troepedraers, vragmotors, motors, kanonne en kragop-wekkers geen geheime in nie.

Die meerderheid van dienspligtiges wat aan die Tegniese Diensopleidingsentrum op Voortrekkerhoogte toegewys is, is vakleerlinge of leerlinge van tegniese ho'e'r-skole. Na basiese opleiding ontvang elkeen spesialisopleiding in die spesifieke ambag van sy keuse of die Leer se ekwivalent van sy siviele ambag. Verder sluit 'n aantal vakleerlinge elke jaar by die Staande Mag aan.

Opgeleide lede van die korps vorm die ruggraat van die Leer se enorme herstelorganisasie - vanaf eenheidswerk-plase tot basisinstallasies.

Ander Ondersteuningsdienste

Ander Ondersteuningsdienste in die SA Leer is die Perso-neeldienskorps wat vir alle aspekte van personeelbestuur verantwoordelik is; die Finansiedienskorps wat na die behoorlike administrasie van openbare fondse omsien; die Krygsbehoeftedienskorps wat vir 'n omvattende reeks logistiese Ondersteuningsdienste verantwoordelik is; die Spysenierskorps wat voorsien in die voedselbehoeftes van die Leer en ook sy klubs, restaurante en menasies bestuur; en laaste maar nie die minste nie, die Korps van Musikante met sy vier prestige orkeste.

 

SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY

Composition

The SA Army consists of a Full-time and a Part-time Force. The Full-time Force is made up of a relatively small core of career soldiers called the Permanent Force which is aug­mented by national servicemen in their initial period of service. The Part-time Force, which constitutes the bulk of the Army's strength, consists of two elements, namely the Citizen Force and the Commando Force.

Mission

The SA Army is therefore in essence a militia force with three primary missions: the defence of South Africa on land; co-operation with the SA Police in maintaining law and order inside the RSA; and assistance to civic authori­ties in disaster relief work.

Organisation

To carry out these missions, the SA Army has been organised into two major components, namely a Conven­tional Force and a Territorial Force.

The Conventional Force

The Conventional Force comprises two divisions and one independent parachute brigade. Each division has three mechanized brigades. If circumstances require it, an addi­tional full-time force brigade can be composed to operate either independently or with the part-time forces.

Each brigade consists of one tank regiment, two mech­anized infantry battalions, an armoured car regiment, an artillery regiment, an engineer regiment, a field workshop and signals and maintenance units.

The parachute brigade has three battalions and a light artillery regiment equipped with 120 mm mortars as well as the appropriate support units.

The Conventional Force is manned almost entirely by Citizen Force members, with Permanent Force members found mainly in the top command and staff posts and some key administrative posts.

As its name and structure implies, this force is geared to wage conventional but highly mobile operations, often over long distances and on terrain with poorly developed roads and amenities. Its mechanized strength lies in the tough Ratel Infantry Combat Vehicle, the powerful Olifant tank, the agile Rooikat Armoured Car and the sophisti­cated G-5 and G-6 artillery systems, all of them backed up by a family of high-endurance logistic vehicles.

The Territorial Force

The Territorial Force operates within the ten regional Commands and one military area into which the RSA has been divided.

These commands, with their headquarters shown in brackets, are: Western Province (Cape Town); Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth); Northern Cape (Kimberley); Orange Free State (Bloemfontein); Northern Transvaal (Pretoria); Witwatersrand (Johannesburg); Northwestern Command (Potchefstroom); Eastern Transvaal (Nelspruit); Natal (Durban), and Far North (Pietersburg). The Territo­rial Force also operates in the military area of Walvis Bay.

The Territorial Force is a mixture of areabound militia units called Commandos, Citizen Force units and a num­ber of training units with combat capability. Almost all of these units are equipped and trained as light infantry for their primary counter-insurgency role. This includes the prevention of terrorist infiltration into their area of respon­sibility and the regional protection of all sections of the population against acts of terrorism and sabotage.

For the necessary mobility needed in counter insur­gency operations, the Territorial Force units rely heavily on mine-protected vehicles such as the Buffel personnel carrier, helicopters, and, in some instances, even motor­cycles and horses. A few units - e.g. 4 and 8 SA Infantry Battalion are equipped with Ratel Infantry Combat Vehi­cles and therefore classified as mechanized infantry and some Commands also have armoured car units for area patrol tasks.

The Commands are also responsible for relief opera­tions during emergencies or after natural disasters. Another important task of the Commands is the upliftment of the local population in underdeveloped regions within their areas of responsibility.

Two Commands, viz Far North and Eastern Transvaal, which are responsible for the protection of the greater part of the RSA's northern and eastern borders, are classified as operational sub-theatres. They are responsible for the protection of their respective areas against any external conventional threat. To this end, elements of the Conven­tional Force are placed under the Commands. There is also a third sub-theatre, viz the Western Sub-Theatre which is responsible for all operations in and from the western part of the RSA.

It is therefore quite clear that the actual execution of the SA Army's missions currently is mainly the task of the Territorial Force and the various Commands.

SA Army Headquarters

The Chief of the Army and his General Staff exercise overall command of both the Conventional and Territorial Force. SA Army Headquarters in Pretoria has five staff divisions responsible for, respectively, personnel, intelli­gence, operations, logistics and finance. The Inspector General of the Army ensures that uniform high standards of training and operational readiness are maintained.

Military Service

In terms of the Defence Amendment Act (Act 103 of 1982) all white male citizens are liable to military service at the age of 18, and they remain liable for service until age 55. There are two intakes every year, one in February and one in August, and the majority of these new conscripts are allocated to the SA Army, the largest of the four arms of the service.

They are allocated to various bases and installations with their first ten weeks being devoted to basic training. This is followed by specialist instruction appropriate to the trai­nees' particular corps or unit.

After six to eleven months training they are posted to operational and other units and headquarters for the rest of their initial service of two years.

These conscript soldiers undergoing their initial two years military service are known as national servicemen, and counted as part of the Army's Full-time Force.

Training

Success in battle is dependent on well trained leaders and soldiers.

National servicemen receive their basic, individual and collective training at their respective units. In the Part-time Force training is done on a continuous or non-continuous basis with an annual maximum of twelve days in the Commandos and thirty days in the Citizen Force. Mem­bers in the Counter-insurgency Force do their training in their respective commands whereas those in the Conven­tional Force are trained by their formation headquarters, normally at the Army Battle School at Lohatlha in the North Western Cape. This school with its huge training area and excellent facilities is ideal for all types of conven­tional exercises. Leaders and specialists of all ranks are trained at the respective corps schools. The SA Army College at Voortrekkerhoogte provides command and staff training for officers of the Permanent Force, Citizen Force and Commandos as well as qualifying courses for senior NCOs and warrant officers.

Coloured and Black Soldiers

There is also a large complement of non-white soldiers serving in the SA Army as volunteers, and their service conditions and career opportunities are the same as those of their white comrades-in-arms.

Coloured soldiers serve in most of the corps of the Army. Their service in the Army dates back to the First World War. There are at present two coloured infantry units based in the Cape, where volunteers serve for a minimum period of two years. A third coloured infantry unit, based at Midlands near Kimberley, will begin training in 1990. After basic training they are mainly used in the counter-insurgency role.

A maintenance unit near Cape Town trains coloured members for the Ordnance Corps. Selected members are also given the opportunity to qualify themselves as officers at either the Infantry School or the Ordnance Services School. After completing their initial two year voluntary service, those wishing to continue their career in the Army can do so in either the Cape Regiment, a Citizen Force unit, or they can join the Permanent Force in one of the various corps.

At 1 Special Training Unit in Kimberley, volunteers are also trained, for a period of six months, in various trades such as masonry, panelbeating and motormechanics.

There are also a number of black area units in the RSA: 21 Battalion at Lenz on the Witwatersrand, 111 Battalion in Eastern Transvaal, 113 Battalion in the eastern part of Far North Command, 115 Battalion near KwaNdebele, 116 Battalion at Messina, 117 Battalion at Soekmekaar in Northern Transvaal, 121 Battalion in Northern Zululand and 151 Battalion in Qwa-Qwa. The famous 32 Battalion, which had fought with distinction against SWAPO in Namibia, moved to its new base at Pomfret in the Northern Cape during the first half of 1989.

Black soldiers are assigned to the various corps and undergo relevant training at the various corps schools. Those with the necessary qualification (minimum matric) are also given the opportunity to qualify themselves as officers.

A notable feature of the Black units is the adult education centres established there in co-operation with the Depart­ment of Education and Training. These centres afford Black soldiers and their family members to better their educational qualifications. Instruction is given by qualified teachers doing their military service.

The SA Infantry Corps

This is by far the largest corps and forms the backbone of the SA Army. Modern infantry is broadly divided into motorized, mechanized and airborne units, but the South African Infantry also has a small contingent of specialists who fight on horseback, and on motorcycles during counter-insurgency operations. Patrol and sniffer dogs have also proved their worth in the counter-insurgency war, and they and their handlers are also found in the ranks of the infantry.

Modern infantry has a formidable arsenal of short to medium range weapons to generate a high volume of firepower. The basic personal weapon of the South Afri­can infantryman is the gas-operated, calibre 7,62 mm as­sault rifle (R-1, R-2 and R-3) or its more recent version, the 5,56 mm assault rifle (R-4). The 9 mm submachine guns (S-l and BMX), the 37 mm and 40 mm grenade launchers augment the infantryman's short range fire capability. The standard general-purpose machinegun is the SS-77, al­though the older FN Mag and MG-4 are still in service. All fire the standard 7,62 x 51 NATO round.

The 60 mm M-l and M-4 mortars as well as the 81 mm M-3 mortars are the infantry's "pocket artillery", and the hand-held RPG-7V antitank rocket launcher provides de­fence against enemy armour.

The mechanized infantry's combat vehicle is the famous Ratel. The main armament on this wheeled vehicle can either be the 20 mm belt-fed cannon, the 60 mm breech-loading mortar, the 81 mm front-loading mortar or, in an anti-tank role, the 90 mm gun. Secondary armament con­sists of two or three 7,62 mm machine guns and smoke-grenade launchers.

Motorized infantry is transported in the Buffel, the pri­mary mineprotected wheeled armoured personnel carrier.

The SA Artillery

The South African Artillery has a long and proud tradition. Its primary mission is long range fire support to armour and infantry during all phases of operation.

The South African Artillery prides itself on having one of the best medium guns in the world. Developed entirely in South Africa by Armscor, the G-5 155 mm gun/howitzer can achieve a range of nearly 40 kilometers. The self-propelled version of this gun, designed to support ar­moured and mechanized formations, is mounted on a wheeled chassis. Weighing 37 metric tonnes, the G-6 can achieve off-road speeds of up to 40 km/h. Still in service, but in the process of being phased out, is the G-2 140 mm medium gun (known to World War Two veterans as the 5,5 inch gun). Also destined for relegation to the reserve list is the G-4 155 mm gun/howitzer with a maximum range of 23 500 metres. The G-l 80 mm field gun, known to World War Two gunners as the 25-pounder, is now used mainly for training and ceremonial purposes.

The 127 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher, which with its 24 tubes can achieve a firing rate of 60 rockets per minute over a distance of up to 22 000 metres, is used mainly as a counter to enemy artillery concentrations and to deliver high saturation fire in the enemy's rear areas. Mounted on a two-ton truck, its mobility and lightness make it one of the best systems of its kind in the world.

The SA Anti-Aircraft

The South African Anti-Aircraft, operating in close con­junction with the Air Force, is responsible for the defence of combat formations against low-level air attacks. The primary anti-aircraft guns of the Army are the radar controlled 35 mm GDF-002 Twin and the 20 mm optically aimed GA1-C01 and GA1-B01. The self-propelled 20 mm gun on a mineprotected SAMIL-20 is known as the Yster-vark. Target acquisition and tracking is done by the Super Fledermaus and LPD-20 radar systems.

The SA Armoured Corps

The main battle tank of the South African Armoured Corps is the Olifant Mk 1A with its 105 mm gun as main arma­ment. Based on the old Centurion tank, but considerably updated in terms of engine power, suspension, transmis­sion and fire control, the Olifant is a formidable fighting machine. With a mass of 56 tonnes it can achieve a road speed of 45 kilometres per hour.

Up to 1989, the Eland armoured car was the standard reconnaissance vehicle of the Army, although it was also effectively used in the Angolan theatre of war as an assault gun and tank-destroyer. The Eland-90, with its 90 mm low recoil gun, is used in its conventional armoured car role by conventional armoured formations, whereas the Eland-60 with its 60 mm breech-loading mortar is designed for reconnaissance and patrol during counter-insurgency op­erations. The Eland is capable of road speeds up to 90 km/h and ranges between 240 and 450 kilometres, depending on the type of terrain.

Destined for operational employment by the end of 1989, the newly introduced Rooikat vehicle will replace the Eland as the Army's standard armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Having a remarkably low profile in spite of its 27 tonnes, the Rooikat packs a vicious armour-piercing punch in its 76 mm gun. Reaching speeds of more than 120 km/h on the road, it has an operational distance capacity of up to 1 000 km. Its high mobility, firepower and reliability make the Rooikat an ideal fighting machine under Southern African conditions.

The SA Engineer Corps

The Army Engineers have an impressive record of achievement - often under hazardous conditions. In both conventional and unconventional campaigns they have kept roads open, built temporary bridges over rivers, disposed of enemy mines, provided water supplies and established the physical infrastructure without which fighting elements would have ground to a halt. Other engineer tasks include survey work and the preparation of maps for the SADF.

The SA Signal Corps

The signallers are responsible for the maintenance of telephone, radio, telex and facsimile communications within the Army and between the Army and other ele­ments of the SADF. They also handle the provision of electric power to headquarters and units and the mainte­nance of most types of electronic equipment.

The SA Army Intelligence Corps

The best operational and logistical capabilities are of little use if the location, composition and intentions of the enemy cannot be identified with speed and accuracy. This task falls to the intelligence officers and clerks in all head­quarters of the Army. They collect, collate and analyse all available information concerning the enemy, the terrain and the local infrastructure and the population in an effort to build a useful picture for the commander and his operations staff.

Considerable time is naturally also spent studying the theory of enemy organisation and doctrine. Another intel­ligence task is the prevention of the enemy's information gathering activities, the security of own troops and the countering of enemy propaganda.

The SA Corps of Military Police

The Military Police perform the essential functions of a police force in the Army which in war will often be out of reach of civilian police. Military policemen also perform the absolutely vital function of traffic control to and from, as well as in the operational area.

The Technical Services Corps

Members of this corps can be regarded as the "Mr Fix-its" of the Army. These men maintain, repair and recondition every piece of army equipment - barring signals equip­ment. To them Olifant tanks, Ratel infantry combat vehi­cles, troop carriers, trucks, cars, heavy ordnance, pumps and generators hold no hidden mysteries.

Most of the national servicemen allocated to the Techni­cal Service Training Centre (TSC) in Voortrekkerhoogte are apprentices or technical high school students. After basic training each is given specialist instruction in the trade of his choice or the Army equivalent of his civilian trade. In addition, a number of Permanent Force appren­tices are taken in each year.

Once trained, the men from TSC form the backbone of the Army's vast repair organisation - ranging from unit workshops to base installations.

Other Supporting Services

Other supporting services in the SA Army are the Person­nel Services Corps which is responsible for all aspects of personnel management; the Finance Services Corps which sees to the proper administration of public funds; the Ordnance Services Corps which is responsible for a com­prehensive range of logistical support services; the Cater­ing Corps which sees to the nutritional needs of the Army and also manages its clubs, restaurants and messes; and last but not least, the Corps of Musicians with its four prestige bands.

 

 


 

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