The Commander of the Principal Landward Warfare Force of South Africa Honors the Technical Service Personnel who toiled tirelessly to keep the South African Army Prime Mission Equipment in Pristine Condition.

For many years the Light Workshop Troop of Various SA Army units was resembling a graveyard with a fleet of vehicles that were unserviceable and obsolete.

This emerging and intricate threat has now come to a grinding halt owing to the edge-of-the-seat talent of members from the South African Army Technical Service Corps, coupled with their technical skills and that of their counterpart from the Republic of Cuba which became a magic wand for attaining success in overhauling the Prime Mission Equipment.

The Technical Service members have made great strides, accomplishing many tasks, and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds when they embarked on this massive project of resuscitating this Prime Mission Equipment. By fusing their technical skills with that of their counterparts from the Republic of Cuba, a tangible measurable difference was made in the South African Military landscape, particularly the South African Army which is the principal landward Warfare Force in the continent.

Their selfless efforts did not go unnoticed, and this became evident on the evening of Thursday the 26th of October 2023, when the commander of the South African Landward Forces, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani “Shando” Mbatha honoured these members at an appreciation ceremony which was upbeat, exciting and well attended in the City of Roses, Bloemfontein in the Free State Province.

The collaborative effort between the South African Army Technical Service members and the team from Cuba was aimed at addressing the complexities surrounding the Prime Mission Equipment which included the Caspirs, Mambas, and Samil 50s which were obsolete and unserviceable, posing a significant obstacle in the day to day operation of the South African Landward Force. The situation was also exacerbated by the fiscal position of the South African Army which had deteriorated markedly owing to the constant budgetary cuts, but the need to have the Prime Mission Equipment which is fit for purpose and a fleet of vehicles that can transport the members in absolute comfort was paramount.

The South African Army under the auspices of Operation THUSANO embarked on Project clean-up in the 2020 calendar year and amalgamated the two projects in the year 2022 under a new name “Forward Workshop Detachment”, where the Cuban Technical Team in collaboration with the South African Army Technical Services Technicians from all provinces started with the refurbishment of the ageing and unserviceable SA Army Prime Mission Equipment at De Brug.

It was for this reason that the Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha has deemed it prudent to recognise the outstanding work rendered by this committed men and women through an appreciation dinner. These technicians meticulously kept the SA Army Prime Mission Equipment in pristine condition, which will also go a long way in raising the combat readiness state of the South African Army at an all-time high.

The event was graced by the presence of a representative from the Member of the Executive Council for Community Safety, Roads and Transport Mr Moeti, Deputy Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Cllr Lulama Titi Odili, Director Operation THUSANO Brigadier General Mtshweni, Brigadier General (Retired) M.Mbotyi, and Chief Warrant Officer( Retired) T.A. Mabote.

During his key note address at the auspicious event, the Commander of the South African Landward Force, Lieutenant General Mbatha extended his heartfelt gratitude to all the members who were involved in the project.

He said: “Today we are celebrating the real story of our own success demonstrated by our Technical Service Corps members towards ensuring that we remain combat ready at all times. Whilst we celebrate our success, we have to say it with pride that the project has saved the state millions if not billions of rands in resuscitating our Prime Mission Equipment”.

He added that their steadfast dedication to supporting this initiative has filled the apex leadership of the South African Army, and the entire South African National Defence Force with immense pride. Furthermore, the Commander of the South African Landward Force also expressed his sincere appreciation to Chief log for managing Project Thusano, the Chief Director Force Structure and the General Officer Commanding Support Formation for navigating the project in the right direction.

The Chief of the South African Army also thanked all the sponsors and the organizers of the event. He concluded by urging all the members who had attended the event to be full square by the springboks in their quest to clinch the coveted Webb Ellis trophy (World cup) for the fourth time. The South African Rugby team will be squaring it up against the All Blacks from New Zealand in the finals of the 2023 Rugby global showpiece which will kick off at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (Paris), France on Saturday the 28th of October 2023.
Information and Photographs by SA Army || Corporate Communication.