South Africa hosted the fourth India, Brazil, South Africa Maritime (IBSAMAR) naval exercise. This cooperation stems from South Africa becoming part of the BRICS community several years ago.
The three days of exercises were to refine the navy’s skills and hone their team work, including dealing with threats ranging from unauthorized entry into territorial waters to illegal fishing and piracy.
“The problems of the world are not specific to a particular country, and you need strategic partners. And if anything happens, you need allies, and hence this relationship in terms of the three navies,” said Lietenant General Derrick Mgwebi, Chief of Joint Operations for the South African National Defence Force. “What we are showcasing here is the level of our ability to interact, communicate and deal with any situation that might arise, together as a team.”
The exercise was seen as an unqualified success by all three countries and augurs well for future cooperation in dealing with maritime threats in the waters between these three BRICS countries.
“It is extremely important that navies understand each other so that when the time comes, we can operate with each other, and we can render the best possible assistance for a given situation,” said Captain Anand Sardesai, Commander of the IBSAMAR IV Indian Task Group.
“We have a big challenge in IBSAMAR because when we are in our countries and have our own ships, we are working almost every day, trying to get the best level of training,” said Captain Paulo Ferreira, Commander of the IBSAMAR IV Brazilian Task Force. “If we are operating with three different navies, three different classes of ships, and helicopters and special team operations, we have almost the same doctrine. However, we all are not the same, and that’s the challenge — to get the interoperability to work, to have a mutual understanding in what we need to do.”
CCTV’s Angelo Copella had this report from South Africa.