13 February 2013

Southern Africa: SADC Air Forces Exercises to Include Civilians

Luanda — The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) air forces "Zambeze Azul" exercises set to take place in Angola in June this year will include a civilian staff component, Angop learned Wednesday in Luanda from an official source.

The civilian component will comprise ministerial and public institutions elements, the source said, adding that an ad-hoc committee involving the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and its Migration and Foreigner Services, Fire Department and Civil Protection and Fiscal Police.

Other governmental institutions like those linked to the Ministry of Environment, Social Welfare, Transports (Inavic and Enana) and Sonangol Distribution, will also be involved in the exercises.

The list of ministerial and public institutions includes those linked to Telecommunications and Information Technologies, business units and non-governmental organisations.

The exercises are a multinational event with humanitarian character, with peacekeeping elements and is part of the biennial programme designed by SADC Military Aviation Permanent Committee during its 14th Conference in Maputo, Mozambique, in April 2012.

The topics for the event were officially unveiled on Monday in Luanda and include purely strategic, operational, tactical and logistic aspects.

The initiative is intended to test the inter-operationality and compatibility of the air means of the SADC air forces, exercise the respective commanders and staff in dealing with the press and update the collective doctrine and security accords.

It is also intended to practice and evaluate the SADC doctrine in the planning and conducting of humanitarian aid operations, improve regional cooperation in the field of humanitarian aid and harmonise the concept of an air army with a real operation of humanitarian aid.

The first such maneuvre called "Blue Cluster" Angola joined was held in South Africa in August 2011.

SADC groups Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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