22 Aug 2017 14:20pm
WINDHOEK, 22 AUG (NAMPA) The Namibian Air Force and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) air forces will be conducting a military exercise in the Kunene Region, code named 'Exercise Blue Kunene'.
This was announced in a media statement by the Head of Public Relations Division in the Ministry of Defence, Major Petrus Shilumbu on Tuesday.
Minister of Defence, Major-General Penda Ya Ndakolo will officially launch the exercise on Thursday at the Oshakati Independence Stadium.
The exercise features humanitarian relief operations aimed at preparing SADC Air Forces, Air Wings and Air Arms for rapid deployment in case of a humanitarian crisis in the region and beyond.
About 10 of the 16 member states with military assets and almost 1 000 personnel will participate in the exercise.
Namibia, during the last exercise named the 'Blue Kavango' held in Botswana in May 2015, contributed a single transport aircraft, a utility helicopter as and 43 air force personnel.
Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council (KRC), Julius Kaujova told Nampa on Tuesday that some participants are already in Opuwo with a mobile clinic erected at the Norman Katuta Stadium.
He said air force members will be involved in a variety of activities such as the distribution of the drought relief food to the far remote and not easily accessible areas in Kunene, especially Epupa and Opuwo rural constituencies.
Every time the members visit remote areas, they will be with some medical staff to attend to patients in these villages where people struggle to get to health centres, he said.
Kaujova urged communities to assist wherever needed, such as helping with off-loading bags of maize from the choppers.
The exercise will run from 20 August until 7 September 2017.