Mother City to host AFD

2019-02-12 06:00
Rear Admiral Sammy Matshimane at the launch of this year’s Armed Forces Day

Rear Admiral Sammy Matshimane at the launch of this year’s Armed Forces Day

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will kick-start its week-long National Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Friday 15 February.

Displays, exercises and demonstrations by all of the divisions within the SANDF, including the army, air force and navy, will be conducted across the Cape Peninsula from Friday 15 February to Thursday 21 February in an effort to showcase their capability to the public.

AFD commemorates the sinking of the SS Mendi and the loss of its crew 101 years ago during World War I.

At a media launch more than two weeks ago senior naval officers outlined the activity programme which will include a fan park at the Mandela Park Stadium in Khayelitsha as from the Saturday; a 5km and 10km walk and fun run at the Cape Town Stadium on the same day; an inter-faith service on the Sunday; naval ships, including a submarine, at the V&A Waterfront, also on the Sunday; a gala concert at City Hall on the Monday, and last but not least a night shooting display at Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg on the Tuesday.

All of the events are open to the public, apart from the gala concert.

A wreath-laying ceremony will then be held on the last day of the celebrations, Thursday 21 February, at the University of Cape Town’s Lower Campus. This is said to be the place where the Native Corps crew aboard the SS Mendi spent their last night before departing for Europe.

Also on 21 February a main parade will take place near Marine Circle, Table View Beach.

Commander Greyling van den Berg, spokesperson for the navy, told People’s Post that on the day a convoy of military vehicles and personnel will depart from Fort Ikapa (Goodwood) and 9 SAI (Faure) to take part in the day’s parade where state president Cyril Ramaphosa will be the guest of honour. The day will also be characterised by a land demonstration, a naval display and air force demonstration.

Several roads will be closed around the beach area, including parts of Blaauwberg Road and Otto du Plessis Drive (R27). Further details about the road closures will be communicated to the public closer to the time, Van den Berg said.

At the launch, Rear Admiral Guy Jameson, deputy chief of the navy, told reporters on board the SAS Amatola that AFD is an annual celebration that has been held across South Africa in the past, including Kimberly, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein. He said this year the navy was chosen as the host and that the event will be held in Cape Town where the majority of the navy’s forces are based.

“We feel that it is a worthwhile exercise. It forces us to test our own ability.”

He said that as the SANDF they had to work closely with the local municipality and environmental health to ensure that they adhere to the necessary bylaws and that no pollution takes place.

Many residents may remember that on Thursday 29 November last year the SANDF conducted a test firing on Blouberg Beach and near Table View Beach. This, the SANDF says, was meant to assess the noise levels of equipment intended to be utilised during the event on Thursday 21 February.

Rear Admiral Sammy Matshimane, chief coordinator of AFD 2019, said a total of 8500 military staff and heavy vehicles in excess of 160 will be part of the event.

Some of the helicopters on display this year include the Lynx, Oryx and Rooivalk, while the ships SAS Drakensberg and SAS Pretoria and frigates SAS Spioenskop and SAS Amatola will also be open to the public.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will kick-start its week-long National Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Friday 15 February.

Displays, exercises and demonstrations by all of the divisions within the SANDF, including the army, air force and navy, will be conducted across the Cape Peninsula from Friday 15 February to Thursday 21 February in an effort to showcase their capability to the public.

AFD commemorates the sinking of the SS Mendi and the loss of its crew 101 years ago during World War I.

At a media launch more than two weeks ago senior naval officers outlined the activity programme which will include a fan park at the Mandela Park Stadium in Khayelitsha as from the Saturday; a 5km and 10km walk and fun run at the Cape Town Stadium on the same day; an inter-faith service on the Sunday; naval ships, including a submarine, at the V&A Waterfront, also on the Sunday; a gala concert at City Hall on the Monday, and last but not least a night shooting display at Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg on the Tuesday.

All of the events are open to the public, apart from the gala concert.

A wreath-laying ceremony will then be held on the last day of the celebrations, Thursday 21 February, at the University of Cape Town’s Lower Campus. This is said to be the place where the Native Corps crew aboard the SS Mendi spent their last night before departing for Europe.

Also on 21 February a main parade will take place near Marine Circle, Table View Beach.

Commander Greyling van den Berg, spokesperson for the navy, told TygerBurger that on the day a convoy of military vehicles and personnel will depart from Fort Ikapa (Goodwood) and 9 SAI (Faure) to take part in the day’s parade where state president Cyril Ramaphosa will be the guest of honour. The day will also be characterised by a land demonstration, a naval display and air force demonstration.

Several roads will be closed around the beach area, including parts of Blaauwberg Road and Otto du Plessis Drive (R27). Further details about the road closures will be communicated to the public closer to the time, Van den Berg said.

On Monday, Rear Admiral Guy Jameson, deputy chief of the navy, told reporters on board the SAS Amatola that AFD is an annual celebration that has been held across South Africa in the past, including Kimberly, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein. He said this year the navy was chosen as the host and that the event will be held in Cape Town where the majority of the navy’s forces are based.

“We feel that it is a worthwhile exercise. It forces us to test our own ability.”

He said that as the SANDF they had to work closely with the local municipality and environmental health to ensure that they adhere to the necessary bylaws and that no pollution takes place.

Many residents may remember that on Thursday 29 November last year the SANDF conducted a test firing on Blouberg Beach and near Table View Beach. This, the SANDF says, was meant to assess the noise levels of equipment intended to be utilised during the event on 21 February.

Rear Admiral Sammy Matshimane, chief coordinator of AFD 2019, said a total of 8500 military staff and heavy vehicles in excess of 160 will be part of the event.

Some of the helicopters on display this year include the Lynx, Oryx and Rooivalk, while the ships SAS Drakensberg and SAS Pretoria and frigates SAS Spioenskop and SAS Amatola will also be open to the public.

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