South Africa: The much anticipated Rand Easter Show 2023, which ran from April 6 to 10, 2023, had a lot of fun-filled and exhilarating activities to offer to the public. The South African Army Support Formation actively participated in this year’s Rand Show and displayed a wide array of military vehicles and equipment to showcase capabilities to thousands of inquisitive-minded Rand Showgoers.
The SA Army Support Formation showcased vehicles and equipment from Units Under Command such as the South African Army Technical Training Centre, Regional Workshop Gauteng, 17 Maintenance Unit, Army Support Base Potchefstroom and Army Support Base Johannesburg.
South African Army Technical Training Centre and Regional Workshop Gauteng Technical Service Corps are both grouped under the Technical Service Corps. They showcased the Ratel (sectional training aid), Samil 100 engine, Bin Truck, Light Aided Detachment (Samil 20 repair vehicle), and Kwe engine. The Technical Service Corps also displayed components such as starters, brake shoes, alternators, and brake boosters.
Additionally, the members displayed the R4 rifle, which members of the public could touch and learn how to operate. Another riveting and action-packed activity was when the eleven members of the Technical Service Corps also participated at the Rand Show Arena, where they stripped and assembled a Land Rover in less than ten minutes.
The next Exhibition stand under the SA Army Support Formation is the 17 Maintenance Unit stand, which showcased the diesel bunker, water bunker, and a mobile field shower. The public members were allowed an opportunity to walk in the mobile field shower.
The other eye-catching Exhibition Stand is the Fire and Rescue stand, which is comprised of firefighters from Army Support Johannesburg and Army Support Potchefstroom. The Exhibition Stand features two Fire and Rescue vehicles and firefighting equipment.
These firefighters made an indelible impression on the public with the firefighting simulations that the public also took part in. The hyperactive toddlers chuckled when they donned the heavy firefighter suits and rapidly paced up and down to extinguish the imaginary fire.
Not only was the Exhibition stand a hit with toddlers, but it also attracted the elderly. Two of the Fire and Rescue communicators, Corporal Portia Moamogwa and Lance Corporal Keneilwe Patience Nakedi, had the surprise of their lives when they interacted with an elderly man about their roles as firefighters.
The elderly man was none other than Dick Croucamp, the former Chief Fire Officer of the Westonaria Fire Department, who had 50 years of firefighting experience. The now-retired firefighter was impressed with the presentations of the communicators and how they made him reminisce about his life as a firefighter in 1957.
The firefighting team did not only impress the public but was also awarded second place for the Best Exhibition stand on the first day of the Rand Show 2023 by the Rand Show 2023 Military Operational Center Commander, Colonel W.T. Mabuza. One of the communicators, Lance Corporal Lucky Bhuti Ntuli from Army Support Base Johannesburg, walked away with a second prize for the Best Communicator and was recognized and awarded for his dedication and passion in communicating to the public about firefighting and firefighting equipment.
The SA Army Support Formation did not only bring static vehicles and equipment to the fore to showcase to the public; another ace up the Formation’s sleeve is the National Ceremonial Guard Band, which provided delightful entertainment and live music to the public at the Rand Show Arena.
The elite band of the SA Army, which is under the leadership of the first female director of the band in the South African National Defence Force, Major Noluthando Nkomo, provided melodies and kept the young and old dancing to moving renditions of songs such as Bravura, Koko, Ntshilo Ntshilo, Now or Never, Face the Music, and Mamela.
The National Ceremonial Guard Band is composed of thirty (30) members playing musical instruments such as trumpets, trombones, clarinets, saxophones, tubas, drums, French horns, and euphoniums.
The SA Army Support Formation Exhibition Stand members, are led by Major Yonela Halom, whose impeccable leadership skills and motivation ensured that the members worked tirelessly to make the Exhibition Stand a great success.