Western Cape officer first and only woman graduate from special task force training

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Meet the highly trained police officers who graduated from an intense training that only a few were able to complete. Photo: Supplied
Meet the highly trained police officers who graduated from an intense training that only a few were able to complete. Photo: Supplied

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They are known as sharpshooters, officers of last resort who are commonly deployed in volatile situations where deploying ordinarily trained police officers could be risky.

These are the 11 newly trained officers who graduated from a two-year special task force (STF) training and officially joined their equals during a parade in Pretoria west on Thursday.

The officers, among them a 31-year-old woman constable from the Western Cape whose identity cannot be revealed for security reasons, formed part of a platoon of male police officers who were bestowed with their STF parachute wings by the national commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola.  


The officers are trained to wear parachute wings on the left chest as they reserve the right hand for shooting at a target at times while in motion.

They are trained for a high level of skill in weapon proficiency, advanced para-military rural tactics, advanced tactical policing for high-risk incidents, hostage release tactics in a variety of high-risk incidents, as well as the ability to deploy operationally by parachute into rural environments.

 
The task force is the only paramilitary unit in th
The task force is the only paramilitary unit in the SA Police Service. Photo: Supplied
Special Task Force
The newly trained officers graduated from a two-year special task force training. Photo: Supplied
only 93 applicants reported for selection of which
Only 93 applicants reported for selection of which only 11 successfully completed the STF basic training programme. Photo: Supplied

The task force is the only paramilitary unit in the SA Police Service which falls under the police's specialised operations component commanded by Major-General Nonhlanhla Zulu. 

Also read: Top Cop promises more police visibility during festive season.

Masemola said the organisation was impressed by the graduation and welcomed the first woman officer to complete the intense training.

Masemola added:

Out of the 906 applications to join this elite unit, 589 applicants qualified for provisional selection. Ultimately, only 93 applicants reported for selection of which only 11 successfully completed the STF basic training programme. Suffice it to say, the 11 successful candidates, together with the currently serving 10 STF members, have done the organisation proud.

“All members on parade have shown dedication and commitment to their profession. The STF selection criteria are very stringent and those who are selected must prove their mettle throughout their intensive and rigorous training.”

The unit was established in 1976 and its mandate includes responding and providing operational support only to high-risk incidents.


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