SA Army flexes its muscle with capability demonstration
The South African Army this week held a major capability exercise outside Bloemfontein in order to showcase the combat readiness of the country’s ground forces. The exercise, held at the General de Wet training ground outside Bloemfontein, replaces both Exercises Young Eagle and Seboka, in an effort to save scarce resources. The exercise saw live night firing on Wednesday evening followed by a major firepower demonstration on Thursday, which was attended by hundreds of invited guests. Most Army assets took part, with an emphasis on mobile firepower, supported by two Rooivalk attack helicopters from the Air Force, which fired cannon and rockets at targets on the range. The South African Air Force also contributed several Oryx helicopters, which were used to land and extract troops and equipment. A single A109 Light Utility Helicopter acted as an aerial observation platform. The exercise began with the spectacular detonation of 800 kg of explosives by Army engineers in a demonstration of their ability to create a crater as an obstacle. Next up a C-130 Hercules dropped five Pathfinders, who managed to parachute safely to earth despite a brisk wind. Once they had made sure everything was right on the ground, a C-130 dropped dozens of paratroopers as well as some cargo.