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Monday, July 30, 2007

A Short Absence?

I would just like to inform everybody that I will be leaving for Bloemfontein tomorrow. The unfortunate thing is that where we are going there is no internet connection and I am not sure about my ability to get to internet cafes over weekends so I may not update my blog during August. The good news is that I will be taking a lot of photos so the next time I do update it will be a large update.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bill Clinton and Africa

Bill Clinton deserves a mention for the work he is doing in Africa. Sign the pledge here.

Go Nicole Smalkowski

I accidentally came upon this video concerning a girl called Nicole Smalkowski from Hardesty School, Texas County in the United States of America. She has been singled out for being an Atheist and not wanting to take part in "The Lord's Prayer" before a basketball match. Apparently the other kids and, wait for it, even the staff, have called her names including devil worshipper and have told her to get out of America.

I am assuming that what has happened is the truth and for that reason would like to wish her all the best of luck in her fight against oppression. I always thought Christianity was all about love; where is the love in this case? The people who are involved in this should also remember that the law does not make provision for any kind of legality being decided on religious beliefs so in the end she will have her day in court.

As we forgive those who trespass against us ...Nicole, you and your family are in my thoughts since I believe that freedom of religion was not practiced in this case.

Friday, July 27, 2007

If Everyone Cared by Nickelback

Nickelback is the next band who deserves a mention on my blog for the song "If everyone cared". In the music video they salute the heroes of this world from Betty Williams to Nelson Mandela.

Flying with Claire

I found this photo today and thought I would post it. On my last visit to Cape Town I wanted to go flying in a vintage UH 1 helicopter like the ones used in Vietnam and the chopper one equates with the birth of air assault. With me that day was Claire, a good friend of mine. What an amazing experience it was. We flew a simulated combat mission with 60's music blaring from speakers mounted on the chopper. Anybody going to visit Cape Town should make an effort to do this.

Rope Extraction at 6 SAI Bn

This is probably the ultimate for us here at 6 SAI Bn. A rope dangles beneath a helicopter. The soldiers being extracted wear harnesses and simply clip their karabiners into slings attached to the rope and are extracted in this way to safety. The first time you do this you are dunked in water by the pilot.

Up and Away

A close-up of 6 SA Infantry Battalion soldiers being extracted.

Extraction from Above

A photo of a group of our soldiers during a rope extraction exercise as taken from above from the Oryx.

The G 7 World Beater

The G 7 is a 105 mm towed artillery piece that outranges any 105 mm artillery as well as some 155 mm artillery in the world. Its range is 32 km. The USA has shown interest in purchasing it from South Africa to equip their Stryker Brigade. Other countries who have shown interest is Canada, the UK and Australia. The G 7 once again establishes South Africa as the country with the most advanced artillery systems in the world as it is added to the list preceded by the G 5 and G 6. The latest version of the G 6 has a range of about 70 km.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Foxtrot Combat Ready Inspection

My company, Foxtrot Company, during our combat readiness inspection on Tuesday. We are ready to go to Bloemfontein.

Men on a Rope

Two soldiers on the rope during fast roping this afternoon. Fast roping is one way we get to the ground at places where the chopper cannot land. We retrain a lot to maintain our currency.

Fast Roping

A rifleman of Bravo Company fast ropes earlier today.

Preparing to Rope

Troops of Bravo Company 6 SAI Bn prepare to go down the rope during fast roping re-training today.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Winners of the Battle Athletics

Our unit has a quarterly event called Battle Athletics. It is a good way to maintain Esprit d' Corps as well as having many other advantages such as fitness and command and control skills. This is a photo of Bravo Company who won the day. Well done, boys.

To be Tough

The obstacle course is very tiring. South Africa is on a tough continent; that's why we defend it.

Obstacle Crossing

The final event and highlight of the day is the obstacle course.

Female Rifle Relay

Rifle Relay

Stretcher Relay

Walker Returns

Rifleman Msindo returns after the 15 km speed march. I have an older post of him of when they were in Sudan.

Tyre Roll Relay

Pole Relay

2,4 km Run

Water Jump

The Water Jump.

The Speed March

The first event of the day was the 15 km speed march.

Another View

Bravo Company during the opening parade of the Battle Athletics.

On Parade

The sub-units of 6 SAI Bn fallen in on parade at the opening of the Battle Athletics for today.

Arriving to Compete

Bravo Company arrives at the unit Battle Athletics today. They would eventually win the day. Foxtrot Company did not take part since our company actually does not yet exist. So far we are only names on paper from the other companies and will only physically be a company from Wednesday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Exchanging Equipment

This entire day Foxtrot Company was exchanging equipment at the Quartermaster. Before a deployment it is normal for the deploying group to exchange old worn equipment for new ones as well as to receive new socks, uniform pieces and so on.

Then the Sun Rises

Sunrise in Grahamstown this morning.

Just before Sunrise

On my way to the base this morning I took this photo just before sunrise. One thing about Grahamstown is that on some mornings the mist is low to the ground like this.

Naughty and Nice

I have been touched by the attitudes of some of the world's more important human beings lately and thought I would post my own naughty and nice list, but only with the nice so here goes:

They are ...

Nelson Mandela
Al Gore
Oprah Winfrey
Angelina Jolie
Leonardo Di Caprio
George Clooney
Bill Gates

If anybody wants to add a person please do so by leaving a comment for this post.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


This ia a follow-up on the post I had here.

Hi all,
This is Ranjit Kumar Das here, by chance I found my message posted in your blogspot. I had also posted the my message in Thanks to all of you, I could finally trace Ms Yoko lena. Some good samaritan passed on my message to her in Tokyo. Some days back she called me up from Tokyo. I am thankfull to all for the helping hand in tracing Yoko. Thanks again. May God bless and protect u all. And long live the WWW :)

I am glad to have been able to help, Ranjit.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Life is what we Make of it

I tend to think a lot and the one things that is reinforced with me all the time is that life actually is what you make of it. The only people who determine our tomorrows are us, no matter if you are a soldier or a politician or priest. Because of the power of visualisation we invariably end up where we see ourselves. Therefor if you picture yourself as a struggler you go through life struggling. Is it not strange that the stories we hear of the successful people of the world includes them playing at what they would become one day when they grew up. They visualised themselves as movie stars or soldiers or what ever and that is where they would find themselves later in life.

We all know that when you are in a good mood nothing can disturb that mood; thus is the power of the mind. Remember that first time when you fell in love and you will remember that all the things that usually bother you simply do not matter anymore during this period. The mind is powerful ... do not fill it with negative thoughts ... or it may destroy you. Fill it with love and light and you will realise you do not have to wish for a better future.

You are already here ...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Foxtrot Company taking Shape

On Tuesday I had the first Combat Ready inspection on the newly formed Foxtrot Company. On 30 July we leave for Bloemfontein where we will receive the rest of the company and we will change from Foxtrot Company, 6 SAI Bn to Delta Company, 1 SAI Bn. After a period of mission oriented training we will be leaving for the DRC.

The Secret on Carte Blanche

Those South Africans who watched Carte Blanche tonight might want to know more about this amazing power. The Secret is about the power of attraction and seven million copies of the DVD has been sold worldwide and it's continuing. If you are interested to know more e-mail me or buy the DVD from me. It will change your life.

Previous post about The Secret.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth Concert

Today, 07/07/07, hundreds of the biggest names in the music industry are taking to the stage on seven continents as we try to gain support for the movement against climate change. Do your part to get us moving in the correct direction.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Looking for Yoko Lena

Hi to everybody. I found this under the comments on the last post on Sudan Watch. Can anybody help to find this lady?

Dear Sir,
a very good friend of mine Capt. Gautam Sharma who served Sudan as UN Peace Keeper - he was from Indian Contingent. He served from 2005-6 to Feb 2007. He was a young boy of just 26 years. On June 3rd while on duty in Kashmir valley in India - he was killed.
He had a very good friend in Sudan (Khartoum or Dafur - am not sure) her name is Yoko Lena (she is a Japanese lady working for UN child protection scheme).
I am desperately trying to trace her. Could u please help me? I want to give her this sad news.
My name Ranjit Kumar Das, I am from Shillong/Meghalaya/India. my email is
Can anybody please help me?
Thanks and May God Bless you.
My condolences to Capt Sharma's family and to Yoko.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

To the Congo

Pictured here are Pakistani troops who are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of MONUC. I have recently been informed that this is where I will find myself as the commander of a company from 6 SAI Bn who will strengthen 1 SAI Bn. I am currently up to my elbows in mobilisation activities. We will continue mobilisation in Bloemfontein by the end of this month and then shortly afterwards fly out. The tour of duty will last for six months.

National Arts Festival

Currently here in Grahamstown the South African National Arts Festival is happening. The festival lasts ten days and includes everything from art galleries to live performances like Eagle Eye Cherry. We have had visitors such as George W. Bush's one daughter as well and many other celebrities. This is my fourteenth festival.

Indoor Shooting Range

At 6 SAI Bn we have an indoor shooting range where we train our soldiers some of the finer points of shooting. One of the interesting points of the system is that you can make a film of a section attacking an objective and then play it back for them on this screen and let them shoot at themselves on film. It's a good way to teach them how important speed and cover is.

Training with Lasers

In my unit as in our country the government tries to save as much money as possible when it comes to training our soldiers. Therefor we have an alternative to live ammunition shooting where we use lasers. You fire at the targets at the front and your shots are displayed on the PC screen, which can be lowered for when you fire from the prone position. The system analyses what mistakes you made and tells you how to correct them. In the South African Army we concentrate a lot of energy on teaching our soldiers how to shoot accurately. Soldier to soldier we have some of the best riflemen in the world and our attention to musketry training assures we have an advantage to many armies in the world today.