Security forces to conduct 2010 training exercises in Gauteng and the North West
11 March 2009
"Exercise Shield 3", a joint exercise between the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and other government departments will take place around four stadia and certain airfields between 16 and 20 March 2009.
This specific exercise is aimed at honing our security-related skills to ensure a safe environment in host cities during major events, including securing the national airspace. Some of the most elite members and units within the security forces will engage in simulated scenarios and enact certain aspects of our emergency contingency plans in order to neutralise any form of airborne threat.
The operation is considered to be an excellent training opportunity for the security personnel to be deployed during the FIFA Confederations Cup in June this year and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which is just over 12 months away.
The SAPS units to be utilised during this exercise include the special task force, the national intervention unit, the national air wing, the dog unit, bomb disposal experts, hostage negotiators as well as borderline and ports of entry components.
As this exercise aims to ensure the security of the airspace, the South African Air Force, in close co-operation with the Air Traffic Navigation Services of the Department of Transport (DoT) will play a pivotal role. These departments will be closely supported by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and various other elements of the South African National Defence Force and government co-ordination structures, thereby ensuring integrated inter-departmental support to the South African Police Service.
The Civil Aviation Authority has already issued a Notice to all Airmen (NOTAM) which restricts - but does not ban - flights in certain airspaces in Johannesburg, Pretoria (Gauteng) and Rustenburg (North West). With the exception of scheduled or State flights, all other aircraft wishing to enter into the stipulated airspace between 16 and 19 March 2009 must conform to the restrictions. This entails applying for flight authorisation at least 24 hours in advance, submitting a flight plan, being equipped with a transponder and being subjected to a vetting process. Any aircraft observed entering the temporarily restricted airspace without the prescribed authority may be subjected to interception. Detailed information can be obtained on the web sites http://www.atns.co.za and http://www.caa.co.za.
Effective co-operation will ensure a secure airspace without negatively impacting on the aviation sector.
The security forces wish to advise the communities of Gauteng and the North West Province that Exercise Shield 3 is an essential exercise to allow our security forces to merge their expertise to ensure that we can deal with any crime or terror related threat, as well as any natural or non-crime related disaster, during major events.
From 16 to 20 March 2009 there will be a great deal of aerial activity in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg areas, particularly over the Soccer City, Ellis Park, Loftus and Royal Bafokeng stadiums. Our activities will be very intensive on Wednesday, 18 March and Thursday, 19 March with aerial simulations both during the day and night. We ask people residing in those areas to exercise patience and we regret any inconvenience, especially in terms of noise, that it may cause to some individuals.
The security forces are proudly South African and fiercely proud of our reputation as world leaders in securing major events. This exercise will afford us the opportunity to hone our skills and make all South Africans proud of their security forces and their country.
Director Sally de Beer
Cell: 082 779 8658
Issued by: South African Police Service
11 March 2009