Public treated at a very grand opening to Rand Show 2018

Article by: Able Seaman Tashwill Atson
Photos by: Chief Petty Officer Kevin Maytham and Able Seaman Tashwill Atson

Friday 30 March saw the start of the 124th annual Rand Show, with members of the public rushing through the gates at NASREC expo centre. The day kicked off with the opening parade held in the arena. The parade was officiated by Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Barney Hlatshwayo, on behalf of Chief SANDF. Lieutenant General Hlatshwayo welcomed the public to this year’s Rand show and said that he hoped that every person in attendance would enjoy their interactions with the soldiers and visit to the SANDF exhibitions.

Chief Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Barney Hlatshwayo, on the podium at the parade

On completion of the parade, the rest of the arena programme started with a bang with Joint Capability Demonstration. Helicopters were manoeuvring overhead and Gripens swooping in on a reconnaissance with explosions going off all around the arena. An Oryx helicopter flew into the arena allowing members from the 101 Air Supply Unit to fast rope down to support the ground crew who were also assisted by two Ratels that laid down suppressing fire in support with a Rooivalk fast attack helicopter also providing overhead fire support.

The Augusta a109 helicopter doing a ceremonial fly past with the SANDF flag

The SANDF National Ceremonial Guard and their band on parade as spectators watch in the background


Infantry Battalion members with their Mamba support vehicle providing covering fire

Infantry Battalion members providing support with their Gecko field support vehicle


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101 Air Supply Unit fast ropers hitting the ground hard at NASREC

A hot extraction done from the roof

This was not the only display that got the crowd’s attention. The SA Army and SA Navy precision drill squad’s got the masses cheering as well as the Gun Run team with its 18th century canon, flash bangs and smoke grenades saw this team move across the arena at high speed, changing around its 45kg wheels whilst holding up a 450kg barrel. A real test of strength, stamina and endurance.

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A family amazed by the size of a torpedo at the SA Navy display area

Ratels supporting the ground troops


Mortars supporting the ground troops

Paratrooper coming in to land

The Rand Show will run until Sunday 08 April.

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SA Navy diving display still a favourite with the crowds

“I also want to shoot the machine gun!”


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Precision Sward drill in action

Gun Run Members ready to reassemble their gun