SANDF Military Skills Competition is launched
The South African National Defense Force (SANDF) is currently running a military skills development competition, with competitors from four other countries taking part.
Captain Jacques de Vries of the SA Directorate Army Reserve reports to the 2022 Military Skills Competition Communications Team that the competitors were at Dirkie Uys Shooting Range at Army Support Base Potchefstroom October 25 for R4 assault rifle and Z88 pistol shooting.
Competitors from Botswana, Germany, the United States of America and Zimbabwe joined their South African counterparts on the 200 meter rifle and 25 meter pistol firing ranges.
Firing first from a prone position on the range and then from a standing position on the range, participants would first have two opportunities to fire groups of five shots in three minutes, followed by precision shooting with three minutes to shoot ten innings. The pattern would be completed with rapid fire, with one minute to fire ten rounds.
Echoing the spirit of the guiding motto “fight while you train,” the officer in charge of the Military Skills Competition 2022 (MilComp 2022), Lt. Col. Uys van der Westhuijzen said on the day that “ it is especially important in uncertain times such as these that soldiers must continually prepare for any eventuality, and participants are to be commended for coming from far and wide to improve their basic military skills and share their knowledge.”
Training by this group and other groups of participants in the 2022 Military Skills Competition is ongoing on the rifle and pistol ranges, and is taking place alongside similar activities on the land obstacle course; crossing aquatic obstacles in the pool; and hand grenade throwing, culminating in the start of the actual competition on Oct. 26 in Potchefstroom, de Vries said.
A large number of countries have participated in the SANDF Military Skills Competition in the past – the 2019 edition included members from Angola, Botswana, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, eSwantini , Germany, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The event was last held in 2019 and canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, four New York National Guard Soldiers and an Airman are representing the United States in the Military Skills Competition, which runs Oct. 26-30. More personnel would have been sent, but the invitation was not sent out until August, leaving little time to prepare. The New York National Guard and the South African Army have been partners since 2003 under the State Partnership Program, which builds military-to-military relationships and interoperability.
The Military Skills Competition is held under the auspices of the SANDF Reserve Force Council, part of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR), which represents more than 1.5 million reservists in more than 37 countries. .