2 South African Infantry Battalion

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2 South African Infantry Battalion
SADF 2 SAI emblem.jpg
2 SAI emblem
Active1 January 1962 to present
Country South Africa
Branch South African Army
TypeMotorised infantry
Part ofSouth African Infantry Formation
Garrison/HQWalvis Bay previous Zeerust
Motto(s)In Utrumque Paratus (Prepared for all situations)
EngagementsSouth African Border War
Battle honoursAngola 1975
Insignia
Company level insigniaSA Army Company Insignia.png
SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992
SA Motorised Infantry beret bar

2 South African Infantry Battalion is a motorised infantry unit of the South African Army.

History[edit]

Origin: Walvis Bay and South West Africa[edit]

2 SAI was established on January 1, 1962, at Walvis Bay a enclave of South Africa surrounded by South-West Africa (Namibia).[1] The first officer to command the battalion was Major G.N. Mcloughlin and the first RSM was WO1 J.A.J. Steenkamp.[1] Initially the base consisted of tents, but was later replaced by prefabricated buildings.[1] Basic training took place in the desert and running up Dune 7 became part of that regime.[1]

SADF 2 SAI exercise on Dune 7
SADF era 1 SSB D Squadron with 2 SAI insignia

Units Colours[edit]

The unit was awarded its colours by the local municipality in 1969, and adopted the town's motto and flamingo emblem as a consequence.

Freedom of Walvis Bay[edit]

On 30th August 1974, the freedom of Walvis Bay was granted to 2 SAI.

Mechanised Battlegroup[edit]

While at Walvis Bay, 2 SAI was organised as a battlegroup when on the 1st October 1973, an armoured car subunit, D Squadron, from 1 Special Service Battalion's became a part of 2 SSB and subsequently 2 SAI.[2]

Delta Armoured Squadron with 2 SAI

An artillery battery, 43 Field Battery, was also added.

43 Field Artillery with 2 SAI

This accounts for the unit insignia including at the top the number "2" in infantry colours, with the St Barbara's lightning flash representing the artillery in the middle and armour's old heraldic colours at the bottom.

SADF 2 SAI Battalion Group elements

These elements and the Transport Park and quartermaster were based at Rooikop, a distance inland because of the rust at the coast.

Training the fledgling SWATF[edit]

Since 1981, national servicemen of the SWA Territorial Force were also trained by the battalion.

Operations[edit]

2 SAI first saw deployment to the South-West Africa/Angola border in 1968.[1]

2 SAI took part in Operation Savannah during 1975, when South African troops covertly involved themselves in the Angolan Civil War.[1]

Disbandment[edit]

The unit disbanded at the end of 1989 when Namibia gained independence.

Reactivation in South Africa[edit]

Pomfret, South Africa[edit]

On the 1 July 1993, the unit was reformed at Pomfret from old members of 32 Battalion, it then resorted under Northern Cape Command.[1]

Zeerust, South Africa[edit]

By 1998, the unit was transferred to North West Command and then based in Zeerust.

2 SAI today: SANDF Motorised Infantry[edit]

On its reactivation back in South Africa, 2 SAI was transformed into a motorised infantry unit using mostly Samil trucks, Mamba APC's or other un-protected motor vehicles. Samil 20, 50 and 100 trucks transport soldiers, towing guns, and carrying equipment and supplies. Samil trucks are all-wheel drive, in order to have vehicles that function reliably in extremes of weather and terrain. Motorised Infantry have an advantage in mobility allowing them to move to critical sectors of the battlefield faster, allowing better response to enemy movements, as well as the ability to outmaneuver the enemy.

Leadership[edit]

Leadership[edit]

Leadership
From Honorary Colonel To
From Officer Commanding To
1962 Maj G.N. McLoughlin c. 1964
1964 Cmdt J.S. Haupt c. 1964
1965 Cmdt A.J. van Deventer c. 1968
1968 Cmdt C.F. Vermeulen c. 1970
1970 Cmdt A. Potgieter c. 1971
1971 Cmdt I.R. Gleeson c. 1972
1972 Cmdt D.S. du Toit c. 1976
1976 Cmdt W.G. Kritzinger c. 1977
1978 Cmdt J.L. Jordaan c. 1980
1980 Cmdt C.E. Le Roux c. 1980
1981 Cmdt F.J. van den Berg c. 1982
1983 Cmdt J. Coetzer c. 1983
1984 Cmdt J.M.R. van der Riet c. 1986
1987 Col T.J. van Schalkwyk c. nd
From Regimental Sergeants Major To
1962 WO1 J.A.J. Steenkamp 1965
1965 WO1 P.J. Badenhorst 1970
1970 WO1 P.H. Kieser 1970
1970 WO1 J.J. Roberts 1972
1972 WO1 J.H. Gagiano 1975
1975 WO1 D.A. Vorster 1977
1976 WO1 F.H. Smit 1981
1981 WO1 S. Mew 1982
1983 WO1 P.J. Steyn 1985
1986 WO1 W.M. de Jager nd

Insignia[edit]

Previous Dress Insignia[edit]

SADF era 2 SAI insignia

Current Dress Insignia[edit]

SANDF era Infantry Formation insignia

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Fact file: 2 SA Infantry Battalion". defenceWeb. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.saarmour.co.za/units