Defence Review Milestone Four – a look into the future
An indication of just how far the Defence Review would go towards shaping South Africa’s future military commitments comes with a deployment of 172 000 soldiers at Milestone Four. These men and women in uniform will comprise 90 000 regular force members and 82 000 Reserve Force members supported by 17 000 civilians in four taskings. The taskings indicated by DRIPT (Defence Review Implementation Team) member retired brigadier general John Gibbs are peace support operations, border safeguarding, assisting the police and general intervention. An indication of just how far away the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is from this milestone can be gathered from the 62 000 Gibbs sees needed to meet defence capability at Milestone One. This milestone has been set as stopping the decline in capability of the SANDF. Milestone One taskings are the same as for Milestone Four but on a far smaller basis. A sustainable deployable capability consisting of a Special Forces team, two medium transport helicopters, two C-130 aircraft, two naval vessels, two battalions for peace missions, four battalions for border safeguarding and a level 2 field hospital is seen as the minimum to meet and execute requirements. The personnel requirement of 62 000 comprises 47 000 regular force members and 15 000 Reserve Force members.