The 2015 Military Skills Competition - Regiment Mooirivier overall winners
The SANDF Reserve Military Skills competition was presented in Potchefstroom over the period 19 – 24 October 2015. The competition took place under the auspices of Chief of the SA Army, Chief Defence Reserves and with the support of the Reserve Force Council. The competition was hosted by 1 Tactical Intelligence Regiment. Two hundred and thirty members participated in the competition which included teams and individuals from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Botswana. Several Regular Force members of the SANDF also participated in the competition.
THE SA ARMY ARMOUR FORMATION
The SA Army Armour Formation was represented by nine members from Regiment Mooirivier (RMR) and individual competitors from Pretoria Regiment (PR). Members of Regiment President Steyn (RPS) played an important role during the preparation and training phases of the competition.
The members reported for a training camp one week prior to the competition but also attended several training camps during the year in preparation for the competition. Their dedication in achieving the ultimate mission – overall victory was well compensated for when during the prize giving ceremony The SA Army Armour Formation and RMR were announced the overall victors in the various team and certain individual categories.
The competition consisted of 6 disciplines to be completed by all individuals. Points were allocated to each member according to their results in each discipline. These points were then converted according to a formula and added together to give a consolidated result per individual. The 6 disciplines were 200 meter R4 Rifle Shooting, 25 meter 9mm Pistol Shooting, Hand Grenade throwing, completion of a 500 meter Land Obstacle course (20 obstacles), completion of a 50 meter Swim Obstacle course (5 obstacles) and completion of a 8 kilometer battle dress run.
The Officer Commanding of RMR, Lt Col Heiko Stark, made an inspiring motivational speech before the competition commenced which inspired the members to successfully accomplish their mission.
The competition was officially opened with a parade on the Monday morning where after the final training and preparations were completed before the actual competition started on Wednesday.
The 50 meter Swim Obstacle course was the first discipline to be completed. RMR members performed exceptionally well with 2Lt Ramon Purchase completing the course in the fastest time followed by 2Lt Carl Smit which resulted in a gold and silver medal for RMR.
Tpr Neethling crossing water obstacle.
The second and third items of the competition were the 9mm Pistol and R4 Rifle shooting where the results were combined, calculated and converted into a Combined Shooting result. 2Lt Smit was awarded a second place in this discipline.
The fourth item was the Hand Grenade throwing where RMR once again obtained a second and third place through the results achieved by 2Lt Smit and 2Lt Purchase.
The fifth discipline was the 500 meter Land Obstacle course where both 2Lt Purchase and Tpr Mokgejane ran exceptionally good times - both close to 3 minutes. The RMR relay team thereby walked away with the gold medal. This resulted in the Armour Formation winning the relay competition. (The team consisted of 2Lt Purchase, Tpr Neethling, Tpr Mokgejane and Tpr Maqase).
The final discipline was the 8Km Combat run. Before the start of this event it was clear that the results of this item would determine the winner of the award as the Best RSA unit in the competition as at that stage the scores of RMR and 3 Parachute Battalion were neck-in-neck. It was a brutal run against a head-on wind but the RMR team did extremely well with a first place by 2Lt Purchase and a second place by Tpr Mokgejane. 2Lt Podile (RMR) was amongst the leading runners, fighting until the very last few hundred meters when unfortunately he caved in from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
OC, Lt Col Stark and 2 IC, Maj Brooks, RMR assisting 2Lt Podile over the finishing line
THE VICTORIUS ARMOUR FORMATION AND REGIMENT MOOIRIVIER
The grand finale of the 2015 Military Skills Competition was the prize giving ceremony followed by a luncheon which was attended by all the competitors, invited guests and senior dignitaries from the Reserve Force Council, Army Head Quarters and the Defence Reserve Division.
The keynote address was delivered by Maj Gen Roy Andersen, Chief Defence Reserves. In his address Maj Gen Andersen expressed his satisfaction with the presence of Res Force members who have joined the Reserves through the University Reserve Training Programme. (RMR had 3 of these young officers in their team: 2Lt Purchase, 2Lt Smit and 2Lt Podile). Maj Gen Andersen further stressed the importance of the skills that were obtained through the competition being transferred to other members of the unit by the participants on their return to their units.
A very proud Lt Col Stark and Capt Herman Krauze (coach of the RMR team) looked on as members of the RMR stepped forward to receive the following honours:
Best overall male winner: 2Lt Ramon Purchase.
Best RSA Unit Team: RMR.
Best Relay Team: RMR
Best Formation: SA Army Armour Formation
MEMBERS OF THE VICTORIUS REGIMENT MOOIRIVER TEAM
Back row FLTR: Tpr Neetling, 2Lt Purchase, 2Lt Smit, Tpr Mogejane and Tpr Maqase. Front Row FLTR: Tpr Mokomela, 2Lt Podile, Tpr Nomphetje and Tpr Motshabi
OC RMR, Lt Col Heiko Stark congratulating 2Lt Ramon Purchase on his individual achievements namely: 1st Overall Reserve Force Male, 1st 50m Water obstacle and 1st Reserve Force Member 8km combat run.
Armour Formation team winners 2Lt Purchase, Tpr Morudu (PR), Tpr Mogejane (RMR) and L/Cpl Ntamane UMR