By Eveline de Klerk WALVIS BAY - Namibia’s defence wing reached another milestone on Thursday when 54 marines graduated after rigorous training. The graduation ceremony took place at Tashiya Wilbard Nakada Barracks parade ground at Rooikop about 15 kilometres outside Walvis Bay. Seventeen marines managed to successfully complete the gruelling amphibious commando special operations training, a highly intensive physical course which requires high standards of physical and physiological awareness. Potential soldiers are thoroughly selected based on high individual discipline, physical fitness and endurance and are trained to neutralize enemy key installations. Initially 36 were trained but 19 could not make it due to the intensive physical requirements. This was the first ever amphibious commando special training conducted in Namibia as training was previously conducted in Brazil. The training stretches over a period of a year and is regarded as one of the elite defence mechanisms. Another 39 marines graduated from the six-month infantry specialisation course. They are now leading seamen while 54 marines graduated as able seamen in the soldiers’ formation course. All three courses were conducted with the assistance of the Brazilian Military Advisory Training Team to benchmark Namibia’s standards against that of the Brazilian Marine Corps to tap into their vast experience in marine warfare and riverine operations. According to the Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Peter Vilho, the 54 marines that graduated as able seamen are the fifth intake of the navy and have already completed six-months basic training at the Okahandja Military School. The recruits were brought to the Marine School at Walvis Bay to undergo a further five-months rigorous and elitist training to transform them into marines. “With regard to the force design, I am proud to announce that we have successfully laid the foundation for a marine battalion that features a composite capability comprised of a Rapid Reaction Unit, Amphibious Special Operations Unit, Operation Boat Unit and Operation Diving teams,” said the rear admiral. He highlighted that the rapid reaction unit will be a light-infantry unit responsible for providing protection of static and forward bases and protect naval bases, while the amphibious special unit will be responsible for dealing with asymmetric threats as well as objectives behind enemy lines. “The operational boats unit will protect our waters while the operational diving teams will be responsible for clearance and explosive ordnance and hazardous material disposable,” he stated. The graduation ceremony was attended by the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) Lieutenant-General John Mutwa.
New Era Reporter
2014-12-15 09:23:49 4 years ago