South African Air Force personnel are participating in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) humanitarian relief exercise known as Blue Kunene.
The two-week long exercise being held at the Oshana Region in Namibia aims to prepare airborne elements of members states’ air forces, air arms and air wings for rapid deployment in disaster situations and subsequent humanitarian crises relief operations, including medical and other aid in the region and beyond.
Attended by 1000 military personnel, it is conducted under the auspices of the Standing Aviation Committee (SAC) of the SADC-Inter State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC).
According to the South African Air Force, the exercise conforms with Article 13 of the African Union, Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council which highlights the functional aspects of the African Standby Force.
“By the end of this Exercise, it is expected that operational lessons being learnt can be utilised for future exercises, and most importantly, a SADC Strategy Airlift Concept can be developed.”
In the next 10 days or so, this Exercises is expected to distribute over 400 tons of food aid in the Kunene region, in the constituency of Opuwo Rural, Epupa and Sesfontein and this will be done in conjunction with the office of the Prime Minister Disaster Risk Management Unit.
Additionally, medical outreach programmes will be conducted in the form of screening and the treatment of various ailments around the Kunene region.
With over a 1000 military personnel, the general communities are advised to remain calm and afford the participants their full support.
Participating countries in include, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique.