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Thread: South African National Defence Force

  1. #1156
    Unicus Ac Immortalis II Dark Avenger's Avatar
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    I see that the Gecko can be used as a weapons carrier (MILAN, rockets, etc). Any good pics of such vehicles please?

  2. #1157
    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teutateswolf-n View Post
    Wow...the SADF, by becoming the SANDF, really became small.
    There is also the stereotype that the effeciency is lower than before 1994. Is it right or wrong stereotype?
    The SA military has been through tough times before, in the 1950s, and recovered. Quite a few guys left then, or were sacked, or sidelined, including some very combat-experienced officers and NCOs, like Brigadier Jimmy Durrant (Acting Maj. Gen. at 32 during the war, post-war head of the SAAF-resigned) or Brigadier Jack Bester (outstanding battalion and brigade commander in the war, ended up commanding the Railways Police). Again there was no credible threat and politics was playing a big role. One who left (not a WW2 veteran) was the future Colonel Jan Breytenbach, founder of the Recces and 32 Battalion. He became an officer in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and flew as an observer on Sea Venoms during the Suez operation in 1956. Later of course he returned to the SADF.

  3. #1158

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    Quote Originally Posted by teutateswolf-n View Post
    Without doing any ideological or political statment, do you think that the fact that there are now so many black people in your army has affected in one way or another the efficiency or the spirit?
    No. Categorically no!
    The black troops today are as good, if not a lot better, than the previous generation. Look at the old SADF and look as some of the so-called elite units and who staffed them.
    There is nothing wrong with the troops. To quote: "You don't get bad troops, only bad leadership". Troops only become a problem if they are allowed to.
    It is rather a matter of political will, defined aims, quality control, etc.
    And even though it was before my time, I think the erstwhile (SA)UDF (UnionDefForce) and SADF went through similar times (called the "Erasmus Years"). What does annoy me however is that the higher echelons are in denail in this regard.

  4. #1159
    Banned user teutateswolf-n's Avatar
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    Sorry if my question is stupid but, I knoe Erasmus, but what are the "Erasmus Years"?


    Quote Originally Posted by exT70 View Post
    No. Categorically no!
    The black troops today are as good, if not a lot better, than the previous generation. Look at the old SADF and look as some of the so-called elite units and who staffed them.
    There is nothing wrong with the troops. To quote: "You don't get bad troops, only bad leadership". Troops only become a problem if they are allowed to.
    It is rather a matter of political will, defined aims, quality control, etc.
    And even though it was before my time, I think the erstwhile (SA)UDF (UnionDefForce) and SADF went through similar times (called the "Erasmus Years"). What does annoy me however is that the higher echelons are in denail in this regard.

  5. #1160
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    Default Morale and efficiency of SANDF

    I did my National Service in 1991/ 1992 at 21 SAI Lenasia and apart from the officer core the whole unit was black.

    During 1991 the then SADF started with the integration of the historical freedom fighter military units into the SADF.

    I kicked off with 50 recruits to my platoon and by mid 1992 when I left there were 32 fully trained and efficient infantrymen left in my platoon, they were trained in both COIN Urban and Rural warfare. I have worked with both whites and blacks in operational situation and to me there was very little difference between the them, the only difference could be marksmanship.

    From 50 to 32:
    3 X KIA (two was shot by corrupt riot control policemen and one by a gang)
    5 X AIDS (accordingto some recent repots it remains the greatest threat to our armed forces)
    8 X Fell off the wagon
    2 X Deserters
    Training was reletively easy since most of them has undergone some sort of military training before, we brought a lot of structure and discipline to them which made them even more efficient in their respective roles.

    There was a crminal element at the time which were involved in bank robberies etc. and I believe that those elements are responsible for the hi level of cash intransit hijacking we have in ZA.

    There are a couple of problems in the SANDF:
    AWOL
    Sick leave - According to sme report we hit a record low a couple of months ago wih more than 30% of the SANDF on sick leave

  6. #1161

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    Quote Originally Posted by teutateswolf-n View Post
    Sorry if my question is stupid but, I knoe Erasmus, but what are the "Erasmus Years"?
    The "Erasmus Years" is the period during which a certain "clever" chap with the surname Erasmus served as SA Min of Defence and decided that there will never ever again be any war or threat in the world (and against South Africa in particular) and did his best to get rid of any SAfrican defensive capability. The defence force under him became a lame duck and had to be totally rebuilt to fix the institutionalised problems.

  7. #1162
    Banned user teutateswolf-n's Avatar
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    Fell of the wagon?!
    I'm not sure if it's because of English that is not my native language, but what do you mean? These 8 guys died because they fell from the truck?

    And 2 deserters! But, were they volunteers? If yes, why did they not simply left their job at the army?

    Finally, 5 from AIDS,... wow, that really a lot. If it's like that in every unit, it's really a big threat to your manpower.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mattpanex View Post
    I did my National Service in 1991/ 1992 at 21 SAI Lenasia and apart from the officer core the whole unit was black.

    During 1991 the then SADF started with the integration of the historical freedom fighter military units into the SADF.

    I kicked off with 50 recruits to my platoon and by mid 1992 when I left there were 32 fully trained and efficient infantrymen left in my platoon, they were trained in both COIN Urban and Rural warfare. I have worked with both whites and blacks in operational situation and to me there was very little difference between the them, the only difference could be marksmanship.


    From 50 to 32:
    3 X KIA (two was shot by corrupt riot control policemen and one by a gang)

    5 X AIDS (accordingto some recent repots it remains the greatest threat to our armed forces)

    8 X Fell off the wagon

    2 X Deserters
    Training was reletively easy since most of them has undergone some sort of military training before, we brought a lot of structure and discipline to them which made them even more efficient in their respective roles.

    There was a crminal element at the time which were involved in bank robberies etc. and I believe that those elements are responsible for the hi level of cash intransit hijacking we have in ZA.


    There are a couple of problems in the SANDF:
    AWOL

    Sick leave - According to sme report we hit a record low a couple of months ago wih more than 30% of the SANDF on sick leave

  8. #1163
    Banned user teutateswolf-n's Avatar
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    Thanks for your information.
    When was it?


    Quote Originally Posted by exT70 View Post
    The "Erasmus Years" is the period during which a certain "clever" chap with the surname Erasmus served as SA Min of Defence and decided that there will never ever again be any war or threat in the world (and against South Africa in particular) and did his best to get rid of any SAfrican defensive capability. The defence force under him became a lame duck and had to be totally rebuilt to fix the institutionalised problems.

  9. #1164
    Senior Member playtym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teutateswolf-n View Post
    Fell of the wagon?!
    I'm not sure if it's because of English that is not my native language, but what do you mean? These 8 guys died because they fell from the truck?
    English is a funny language, I don't blame you for thinking they fell off a truck and died. It could also mean that they were alchoholics who returned to drinking, but I think in this case he means that they didn't make it through training.

  10. #1165
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    Fell off the wagon - Did not make the grade

    Yes, they were volunteers, but they had a contract and most of the time they took their whole kit (incl. rifle) with them once they deserted.

    I guess it was a way of getting something you needed

  11. #1166
    Senior Member playtym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattpanex View Post
    Fell off the wagon - Did not make the grade

    Yes, they were volunteers, but they had a contract and most of the time they took their whole kit (incl. rifle) with them once they deserted.

    I guess it was a way of getting something you needed
    You're looking at this from the wrong perspective. Those 8 guys didn't fall off the wagon, they were just equiping themselves for their future jobs as CIT robbers!!

  12. #1167
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    Yep, getting what you needed

  13. #1168
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    while we are here chatting about the efficiency of the current crop of troops...what is the average age of the troopie in the SANDF at the moment anyone have any ideas?

    Also those who served in the mid 1980s will agree that the level of discipline enjoyed during those times even though we were national servicemen far exceeds that of the current army, the CIT references serves to re-enforce this.

  14. #1169

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierratango View Post
    while we are here chatting about the efficiency of the current crop of troops...what is the average age of the troopie in the SANDF at the moment anyone have any ideas?

    Also those who served in the mid 1980s will agree that the level of discipline enjoyed during those times even though we were national servicemen far exceeds that of the current army, the CIT references serves to re-enforce this.
    [*******black]Ave age. Can't give you a definite number, but until very recently (and currently) that was one of the biggest problems the SANDF was facing. It had/has no exit strategy (at least which it can publicise) for integration members. This led to the MSD System (sort of voluntary national service) being implemented. A very large % of the troops therefore now deployed are MSDS member. With the influx of 18 to early20somethings the ave age has drastically decreased. It has however proven quite difficult to get rid of the "old wood". You therefore still get 45year old troops floating around. Virtually no new members are at present getting old style PF contracts, only short term ones that can be cancelled as you get too old for you pay grade.[/COLOR]
    [*******black]Discipline is something totally different. Unfortunately it is a sad reflection on our society, not just the military. Look around you everywhere. Do you remember schools in the early 80's? Society in general. By late 80's discipline in the army was already more lax than before. It is now a big problem though, and, as I stated above, it is a matter of political will. Every new chief of the army/staff etc has the same story: "I will sort this problem out". And the result stays the same. Nothing done. A zero tolerance policy is however slowly being implemented (see comments re: exit strategy above), but this leads to many other problems as there is not a lot of scope for discretion. I don’t want all my rifleman to be sweet angels...they are soldiers after all.[/COLOR]
    [*******black]We are however also now living in a human rights obsessed litigious society. Most of the stuff done in your day would land you in jail today. Add the whole race and *** issue to this as well (and not just black/white, but different tribes, groupings, sexes etc), and you can imagine the potential mess. It is not just the army that has changed, but society in general as well. However, no denying it, there are discipline problems, just don’t take the media too seriously. In the old days the army could do no wrong (regime press) or right (liberal press), you chose your newspaper for the version you wanted. Now it is simpler. The SANDF cannot do anything right. The media is mostly out to portray the SANDF as negatively as possible, despite a lot of positives mixed in with the negative.[/COLOR]
    Last edited by exT70; 03-23-2007 at 10:36 AM.

  15. #1170
    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exT70 View Post
    The "Erasmus Years" is the period during which a certain "clever" chap with the surname Erasmus served as SA Min of Defence and decided that there will never ever again be any war or threat in the world (and against South Africa in particular) and did his best to get rid of any SAfrican defensive capability. The defence force under him became a lame duck and had to be totally rebuilt to fix the institutionalised problems.
    This is what I was alluding to in my post above. F. C. Erasmus became Minister of Defence in 1948 and immediately launched a vendetta against officers who were seen as too "English" or British-oriented. Maj. Gen. Everard Poole, who was Deputy Chief of General Staff and scheduled to take over as CGS (head of Defence Force at that time), was promptly sent off as SA Representative to the Allied Control Commission for Berlin. Poole was probably our best officer in WW2 and commanded the 6th SA Armoured Div in Italy. There were other examples such as Jimmy Durrant who I mentioned above. He resigned as Director-General of the SAAF citing "irreconcilable differences with the Minister of Defence". Other officers were sacked in the infamous "Midnight Ride" in 1953- dispatch riders took the involuntary retirement papers to the men's homes during the evening.

    There was a general attempt to "de-Anglicize" the SADF. Defence spending was cut, ranks were changed (most reverted to the old ones within a few years, except for Commandant- today Lt.Col. again), and attempts were made to marginalise some of the traditional "English" regiments (nevermind that a large percentage of their men were Afrikaans-speaking). Erasmus had a particular problem with the Imperial Light Horse who he wanted to disband totally. Eventually they were kept on as the Light Horse Regiment. Thankfully by the early 1960s common sense had returned to a large degree.

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