New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Friday, 5 October 2012

Exercise ATLASUR IX continue at sea

Article and photos by CPO Doreen Oosthuizen
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The Task Group (TG) closed up early in the day for the Battle exercise (ATLEXBAT) on the fourth day of EXERCISE ATLASUR IX. The TG was under a simulated air and surface attack for most of the day. At 0800 local time, a Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) classified as hostile circled the air above the TG, reporting the individual ships position to the Mission Controller ashore. Soon after, the Warfare team had their hands full with air attacks from an incoming HAWK fighter jet. The HAWK simulated a bombing on the TG several times, coming in fast and low, before banking off left or right and climbing into the air, disappearing from the TG radar’s screens. During the afternoon, the TG had to react to an attack from below the surface by placing anti-surface measures in place. The SAS QUEEN MODJADJI 1 joined the TG during the evening and simulated an Anti-Surface Warfare (ATLEXASW) attack. SAS QUEEN MODJADJI attacked the ARA ESPORA and SAS AMATOLA testing their sonar capabilities till the early hours of day five.

R Adm P. Schoultz and Cdr G.E. Hallett on the bridge of SAS AMATOLA

A MSA joined the TG but this time around the MSA was classified as friendly carrying out a search pattern of the area. A Super Lynx helicopter was used to convey R Adm P. Schoultz (Flag Officer Fleet (FOF)) and Commander Task Force (CTF) R Adm (JG) W.H.O. Teuteberg on board SAS AMATOLA to observe the ATLEXASW serial. For this serial, SAS QUEEN MODJADJI simulated an attack on SAS AMATOLA firing a torpedo and SAS AMATOLA counter attack firing a torpedo. After a very well executed and exciting serial R Adm P. Schoultz and R Adm (JG) W.H.O. Teuteberg were airlifted back to base.

The SAAF Jet the HAWK

Capt de Wet, the South African Commander Task Group (CTG) invited the Brazilian and Uruguayn CTG for supper on board SAS AMATOLA to end the day on a friendly note. Due to mechanical failures ARA ESPORA detached from the TG during the day to go alongside in Cape Town for repair work. After a night at sea R Adm P. Schoultz reports, “It was a highlight to be back at sea. It was very interesting to observe the various operations and exercises being conducted and specifically the professional approach of the ship’s company to the exercises. These types of multi-national exercises are of a great benefit to everyone involved.”

The Super Lynx landing onboard the SAS AMATOLA

Source: South African Navy.

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