SANDF – SPECIAL FORCES TODAY
The South African Special Forces soldier is one that has qualified as Operator by completing the initial cycle. The history starts in 1972 when 12 soldiers under J Breytenbach started the unit in Oudtshoorn. At the time the unit was named 1 Reconnaissance Commando and the soldiers were nicknamed “Recce’s”.
The formation has grown and seen quite dramatic changes over the last 45 years as it adapted to the continuously changing operational environment. Notwithstanding the formation and political changes the training cycle of the soldiers and the quality of the soldiers have remained largely unchanged.
The Special Forces utilization today is influenced much more by the needs within the AFRICAN UNION context. This requires them to be ready to act effectively in all the conflict spots of Africa as well as act in support of our officials abroad. This is a daunting operational environment as soldiers operate very far from their support and must be able to deploy and operate independently. This requires a very high standard of training.
The Special Forces today has 5 Arms
– The Head Office
– The SF school
– The SF Supply Unit
– 4 SF Regiment
– 5 SF Regiment