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A Milestone in 43 SA Brigade 15 Year Span

03 April 2012
By: Itumeleng Makhubela
Photos: S Sgt Lebogang Tlhaole

Formerly known as 43 Mechanised Headquarters, the 43 SA Brigade celebrated its 15th birthday after successfully conducting various course support and force preparation exercises. The event took place at the 43 SA Brigade HQ at Walmansthal on 30 March 2012 to mark the brigade’s achievement.

The history of the brigade dates back to the late 1990’s when the 43 Mechanised Brigade HQ provided the Headquarters of the Combined SADC Task Force and commanded the intervention stage of Ops BOLEAS in the Kingdom of Lesotho in September 1998.

The year 2009 was also one of the highlights in the Southern SADC region when 43 SA Brigade provided the Military Component Force HQ for the SADC Standby Force during Exercise GOLFINHO. It still has this responsibility as well as that of providing the headquarters of the Chief of The SANDF Rapid Force.

“The birth process of 43 SA Brigade HQ was a long and painful event. It developed out of the virtual rapid deployment force established in 1990 at the then Army Combat School.” These were the words of the General Officer Commanding, Brig Gen Lawrence Smith when he addressed guest and members on parade during the 43 SA Brigade 15th celebrations.

“It was later designated as 43 Mechanised Brigade HQ under the command of Col Izan Leibrandt, also at the Army Combat School. The HQ was formally established as a tactical brigade HQ on 2 April 1997 at Wallmansthall,” He said.

Brig Gen Lawrence Smith, General Officer Commanding 43 SA Brigade said they are proud of their accomplishments in the past fifteen year; achieving set objective by moving from firm base to firm base.

43 SA Brigade members on parade during their 15-year celebration.

Army Support Base Limpopo Band gave an exhilarating musical performance to complement the celebrations.