Arrival in Kiel, Germany for Exercise Goodhope VII

Article and photos by Petty Officer Sthembiso Makuleni and Able Seaman Judy Baatjes

In order to meet the state/operational objective of Exercise Ketane which is to integrate and contribute to the Foreign Force and to strengthen the South African Navy’s Operational Sea Training Cooperation with the main emphasis laid on training of naval skills and maritime warfare during Exercise Goodhope. The SAS AMATOLA arrived in Kiel Germany on Monday, 27 February 2017 to conduct Exercise Goodhope VII as scheduled.

Member of the South African Navy embarking German Ship Bonn for the ice breaker function.

Since the inception of Exercise Goodhope it is the first time that the exercise takes place in Germany. To kick start the exercise, the SAS AMATOLA rendezvoused with the German Ship Bonn while at sea prior to arrival in Kiel Germany, the Command Task Group (CTG) of the German Navy, Captain Blasche embarked SAS AMATOLA while at sea to meet CTG of South African Navy, Captain Francios Roux in order to discuss the expectations of Exercise Goodhope and to plan the upcoming two weeks interactions.
As customary on arrival alongside, Captain Roux paid a courtesy to the Kiel Naval Base Flotilla 1 Commander, Rear Admiral Jan Kaack, the Federal State Command Commander in Kiel, Colonel Ralf Gutter, the State Secretary, Mr Ralph Müller-Beck and the mayor represented by Mr Fal Stadelmann.

Kiel Naval Base Flotilla 1 Commander, Rear Admiral Jan Kaack handing a gift to Command Task Group South African Navy, Captain Roux during a courtesy call.

Federal State Command Commander in Kiel, Colonel Ralf Gutter exchanging gifts with Captain Roux.

The SAS AMATOLA leadership cadre proceeded to the planning meeting to discuss the Exercise Goodhope programme. This was done to make sure that all participating forces understand their role during the exercise and to iron out all relevant points. On conclusion of the planning meeting the German CTG Captain Blasche mentioned that it will be of critical importance for the forces to be prepared to act on time and not prepare to act when they are supposed to act.

Later that evening an ice breaker function for all rank levels was held on board German Ship Bonn.

Captain Roux signing visitors book after courtesy call at the Federal State Office in Kiel, Germany.

State Secretary, Mr Ralph Müller-Beck handing a gift to Captain Roux after courtesy call.


Mr Fal Stadelmann representing the mayor of Kiel, Germany admiring the gift handed to him by Captain Roux.

Captain Roux signing visitors book at the mayor of Kiel, Germany’s mayor’s office.

Many serials will be executed in the upcoming weeks to improve the naval skills level and maritime warfare. Tuesday the 28th of February 2017 was set aside for the SAS AMATOLA Damage Control Team and South African Navy Divers to exchange knowledge with the German Navy Damage Control facilitators and German Divers at the German Navy Damage Control Centre in the area of Schleswig-Holstein, Neustadt. On arrival the team was divided into two groups, one for ship flood training and one for fire fighting with the divers bracing the cold weather of the Baltic Sea. Operational Diver Able Seaman Gous said he does not know what to expect during the diving evolution. When asked how he will cope with freezing water temperatures which were estimated at 4 degree Celsius. He said he does not know what to expect but he will put his diver survival skills into good use.

South African Navy divers interacting with the leadership of the German Navy.

Divers testing the freezing Baltic Sea waters.


The SAS AMATOLA damage control team preparing for the damage control evolution.

Shoring done during the damage control evolution.

The training interaction gave the teams a better understanding of how to react to fire and damages while at sea. Exercise Goodhope VII is set to be done differently as the area of operation is different.

Members happy to have achieved the objective during the knowledge exchange session of the ship flood training.

Job well done.


Members of the South African Navy busy with shoring to prevent a ship from flooding.