SA Navy to deploy a frigate to Europe and countries on the African west coast
The 21st of February 2017 will be the centenary commemoration of the sinking of the SS MENDI, a troop ship with South African soldiers on it, which sank during World War I in the English Channel near the Isle of Wight (see history below). The SAS AMATOLA, a Valour Class Frigate, from the South African Navy will be in the United Kingdom to commemorate this sad occasion that took place a hundred years ago.
Although this is the main reason for the deployment of the SAS AMATOLA the ship will also participate in the British Operational Sea Training (BOST) whilst in England. On completion of BOST and the SS MENDI commemoration, the ship will proceed to Germany for an exercise with the German Armed forces, Exercise GOOD HOPE VII. This exercise normally takes place every second year in South Africa. However, Germany has requested that the exercise takes place in Germany in 2017.
The ship will also do borderline protection patrols whilst in South African waters which will switch over to an anti-piracy patrol on the west coast of Africa. En route back to South Africa the ship will do diplomatic visits to four African countries; Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Namibia.
The ship will depart Simon’s Town on 16 January 2017 and arrive in Rota, Spain on 2 February where the ship will refuel. On 4 February the ship will sail to Plymouth, England, to arrive on 8 February. SAS AMATOLA will participate in BOST from 8 to 18 February and proceed to Portsmouth to arrive on 19 February.
Between 19 and 24 February there will be various activities to commemorate the sinking of the SS MENDI. The main activity will be where some of the relatives of the soldiers that passed-away will go to sea with the SAS AMATOLA to lay a wreath at the position where the SS MENDI sank.
The ship will depart Portsmouth on 24 February to arrive in Kiel on 27 February. Exercise GOOD HOPE VII will take place from 27 February to 5 March. On completion of the exercise the ship will do a historic visit to Rostock (previously part of East Germany) before sailing back to Rota in Spain to once again re-fuel between 19 and 21 March.
From Spain the SAS AMATOLA will be visiting the following ports in order to execute diplomatic visits:
- Tema, Ghana 30 March – 03 April.
- Malabo, Equatorial Guinea 06 – 08 April.
- Luanda, Angola 11 – 13 April.
- Walvis Bay, Namibia 17 – 19 April.
The SAS AMATOLA is scheduled to be back in Simon’s Town on 22 April.
Issued by: SANDF Media Liaison
Enquiries: Lieutenant Commander Portia Mogotlhe
Corporate Communications Officer
Mobile: 074 440 4767