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6 South African Infantry Battalion

6 South African Infantry Battalion is an air assault infantry unit of the South African Army.

6 South African Infantry Battalion
SADF 6 SAI emblem.jpg
6 SAI emblem
Active1 January 1962
Country South Africa
Allegiance
Branch
TypeAir assault infantry
SizeBattalion
Part ofSouth African Army Infantry Formation
Garrison/HQGrahamstown, Eastern Cape
Motto(s)Aliis Melius
Engagements
South African Border War
Part of South African Army
Operations
Peacekeeping
Part of United Nations Force Intervention Brigade
Commanders Lt Col Altin John Gysman
Operations
  • Kibati
  • Triple Towers
  • Niyabiyondo
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col Altin John Gysman
Insignia
Company level insigniaSA Army Company Insignia.png
SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992
SA Motorised Infantry beret bar

Contents

HistoryEdit

6 SAI was established on January 1, 1962, at Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.[1] The new training unit was housed on the property previously used by 44 Air School established by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Bush War/ NamibiaEdit

The battalion became operational in 1970.[1] 6 SAI took part in Operation Protea and Operation Daisy in Angola.[1]

 
SADF 6 SAI Commemorative letter

1984 Grahamstown riotsEdit

The Unit was involved in quelling the 1984 Grahamstown riots – the first real urban riots in South Africa. The army had been called in to assist the South African Police who had failed to contain the situation.

Air Assault InfantryEdit

The battalion has since become an air assault infantry unit specifically trained to deploy via helicopters.[1]

The battalion was deployed in April 2013 to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Battle for KibatiEdit

In 2013, 850 members of 6 SAI were part of the United Nations (UN) Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) authorised to use lethal force to achieve peace in the DRC. 6 SAIs involvement in the FIB saw the defeat of the M23 rebel group during the Battle of Kibati and other skirmishes. The first elements moved into the DRC on 28 April 2013 and the rest following from 15 June, with all 850 South African troops ready for action by 18 June.[8][9]

Special Forces elements such as snipers were also attached to 6 SAI. When the FIB came under mortar fire, 6 SAI established an observation post at the triple towers site and engaged enemy targets up to 1400 meters. [10]

Freedom of GrahamstownEdit

On the 28 August 2014, after their return from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the battalion was honoured with a Freedom of the City parade through Grahamstown.[11]

LeadershipEdit

6 SA Infantry Battalion Leadership
From Commanding Officers - 6 SAI BN To
21 January 1962 Cmdt S.J. Terblanche 31 July 1963
1 August 1963 Cmdt M.N. Horner 19 December 1963
20 December 1963 Cmdt H.N. Norton 18 September 1966
19 September 1966 Cmdt F.A. Patten 30 November 1967
1 December 1967 Cmdt C.J. Lloyd 1 November 1968
2 November 1968 Cmdt H.F.P. Riekert 29 September 1972
30 September 1972 Cmdt E.J.J. Nel 11 January 1976
12 January 1976 Cmdt G.C.MG. Fourie 19 April 1979
20 April 1979 Cmdt M.J. Grobler 31 December 1981
1 January 1982 Cmdt F. Oelschig 18 October 1984
From Commanding Officers - 6 SAI Training Unit To
18 October 1984 Cmdt F. Oelschig 28 February 1986
1 March 1986 Cmdt P. J. Stroebel 31 December 1990
From Commanding Officers - 6 SAI BN To
1 January 1991 Cmdt G. P. Nel 20 December 1991
21 December 1991 Cmdt H. D. Du Plessis 17 December 1993
18 December 1993 Lt Col J. Du Buisson 8 December 1995
9 December 1995 Lt Col E. R. Rabie 7 July 1999
8 July 1999 Lt Col A. P. J. Du Preez 31 January 2008
31 August 2008 Lt Col M.S. Gopane 18 March 2010
18 March 2010 Lt Col S.S. Ntsunguzi 23 February 2012
23 February 2012 Lt Col Altin J. Gysman 29 January 2019
29 January 2015 Col V.D. Maseko 22 February 2017
22 February 2017 Lt Col M.A. Saki 2017
2017 Lt Col Yandisa Gaxenia Present
From Regimental Sergeants Major - 6 SAI BN To
8 January 1962 WO1 P. J. Grove 31 December 1963
1 January 1964 WO1 F. P. Smit 31 December 1964
1 January 1969 WO1 D.J. Maritz 16 June 1964
17 June 1974 WO1 J. J. Gous 31 December 1979
1 January 1980 WO1 D. J. Oosthuizen 31 December 1981
1 January 1982 WO1 J. M. Goodrich 18 October 1984
From Regimental Sergeants Major - 6 SAI Training Unit To
18 October 1984 WO1 J.M. Goodrich 31 December 1987
1 January 1988 WO1 W. van Onselen 31 December 1990
From Regimental Sergeants Major - 6 SAI BN To
1 January 1991 WO1 J.F.E. Van Zyl 1993
1993 WO1 W.R. Botha 1998
1999 WO1 C.C. Richardson 2008
10 October 2008 MWO C. H. "Cassie" Coetzee Present

InsigniaEdit

Previous Dress InsigniaEdit

 
SADF era 6 SAI insignia

Current Dress InsigniaEdit

 
SANDF era Infantry Formation insignia

GalleryEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Engelbrecht, Leon (2 March 2010). "Fact file: 6 SA Infantry Battalion". Defenceweb.co.za. DefenceWeb. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  2. ^ "5 South African Infantry Battalion Deploys to DRC". African Defence. African Defence. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  3. ^ Olivier, Darren (29 August 2013). "The FIB Goes To War". African Defence Review. African Defence Review. Retrieved 25 September 2014. At 07h50 yesterday morning, the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) fired the opening shots of the first ever direct attack on rebel forces in UN peacekeeping history.
  4. ^ Stupart, Richard. "The Last Days of M23". AfricanDefence.net. AfricanDefence.net. Retrieved 25 September 2014. It was an assault that few DRC cynics thought possible. Last week, with the assistance of the United Nations’s newly established Force Intervention Brigade, troops from the FARDC drove the M23 rebel faction to the Ugandan border and forced what has been effectively their total and unconditional surrender.
  5. ^ Olivier, Darren (30 October 2013). "How M23 was rolled back". AfricanDefence.net. African Defence Review. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  6. ^ Olivier, Darren (1 May 2014). "Casualties in APCLS attack on MONUSCO/FARDC positions". Africandefence.net. African Defence Review. Retrieved 24 September 2014. The SANDF soldiers … stood their ground and defended their position with great courage and determination.
  7. ^ Hofstatter, Stephan; Oatway, James (22 August 2014). "South Africa at war in the DRC - The inside story". Times Live. Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Grahamstown welcomes back 6 SAI peacekeepers from DRC". 1 September 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  9. ^ Olivier, Darren (30 October 2013). "How M23 was rolled back". African Defence Review. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  10. ^ "South African SOF Sniper Kills Rebels at 2125m - SOFREP". NEWSREP. 30 November 0001. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  11. ^ "6SAI honoured in Grahamstown parade". Daily Dispatch. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.