Ricochet News

Six Navy vessels expected in Port Elizabeth for Armed Forces Day 2016

Jan 26, 2016
Six Navy vessels expected in Port Elizabeth for Armed Forces Day 2016

About six South African Navy vessels are among other military vehicles and equipment that are expected in Port Elizabeth for the highly anticipated 2016 Armed Forces Day event, which for the first time comes to a coastal city with the Navy in charge.

Armed Forces Day will be held on February 21 to commemorate 99 years since South Africa's single largest naval disaster - the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi in the English Channel on February 21, 1917. She was rammed by the SS Darro and sank in 20 minutes. Six hundred and sixteen members of the SA Native Labour Corps and 22 crew drowned.

Previous Armed Forces days have been hosted by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Human resources directorate, the SA Army and the SA Air Force.

According to the DefenceWeb website, "no less than six Navy hulls representing the country’s naval capabilities will be berthed at quays two and three of the Port Elizabeth port and will be open to the public on Saturday, February 12; Sunday, February 13; Monday, February 14 and Tuesday, February 15 ahead of the Armed Forces Day parade on Sunday, February 21.

"The Type 209 Heroine Class submarine SAS Queen Modjadji, the Valour Class frigate SAS Amatola, the combat support ship SAS Drakensberg; SAS Galeshewe, one of the currently serving offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), the River Class minehunter SAS Umhloti and the Navy’s 'White Lady', the hydrographic vessel SAS Protea will be open to the public."

No entrance fee will be charged.