SA NAVY WELCOMES NEW BLOOD
By: Kgabo Mashamaite
At least 290 Military Skills Development System (MSDS) members were officially welcomed to the SA Navy on 14 June 2012, to help it to successfully fulfilling its maritime security constitutional mandate.
The 2012/01 Basic Military Training (BMT) passing-out parade held at the SAS Saldanha, Cape Town, follows a rigorous six-month Basic Military Training of youth between the ages of 18 to 22 years of age who have been successful in their application for the SA Navy MSDS programme.
Said Rear Admiral Samuel Hlongwane, the Deputy Chief of the SA Navy during his keynote address of the event. ”Discipline and courage earned during your Basic Military Training will be tested in your respective units and ships you’ll be serving under. Remember, you are no longer an ordinary person like you were six months ago, but members of the highest standing in the society because you belong to this prestigious Defence Force. Continue to conduct yourself properly as you have now become role models to all your respective community members. We would now like to officially welcome you to this esteemed institution which is capable of winning at sea because we are unchallenged at sea.” Rear Admiral Hlongwane said.
The SAS Saldanha Officer Commanding Capt (SAN) Valason Pillay, also thanked the parents of the MSDS members for their support during the six month training.
“I am sure that parents, family members and friends have notice a big change in behaviour, discipline and conduct of a child who has been given to us just six months ago. Today the SAS Saldanha would like to present to you a fully transformed and well mannered young man and woman who you can be proud of. I would therefore like to thank every family who afforded us this opportunity to train and develop their children for the past six months into champions at sea. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank President Jacob Zuma, the SANDF Commander-in-Chief for affording the unit with an opportunity to transform and shape lives of the youth as part of nation building. I therefore would like to challenge the members to make use of this opportunity to maintain good conduct and discipline if they want to succeed and enjoy the benefits of this noble career, because they were fortunate few to have been afforded an opportunity to become part of the SA Navy family. I am confident that they will continue to represent us proudly in all the SA Navy functions as determined by the country. Capt (SAN) Pillay said.
At least nine members of the 2012/01 received awards for their outstanding achievements during their six-month basic training at the unit, while three units received recognition for their support.
It is hoped that the 2012/01 MSDS intake will help the SA Navy to fill critical skills gap and to augment the available talent as the demand of SA Navy’s responsibility towards the provision of the Maritime Security in the region and the continent grows daily.