Fleet Command (SA Navy)

Fleet Command is the South African Navy's single type command and controls all vessels and units of the South African Navy, besides Naval Headquarters. The commander of Fleet Command is a Rear Admiral and referred to as Flag Officer Fleet (FOF). The post was previously known as Chief of Naval Operations.[1]

Fleet Command
Active1999 to date
Country South Africa
BranchSouth African Navy
Garrison/HQNaval Base Simon's Town
Flag Officer FleetRADM Bubele Mhlana
Fleet Master at ArmsCWO I Kirchner

Fleet Command was formed on 1 April 1999 following a Defense review, with Rear Admiral Eric Green as the first Flag Officer Fleet.[2]

Command, control and organisation

Four directorates are responsible for the day to day control of Fleet Command:[3]

  • Director Fleet Force Preparations (DFPP)
  • Director Fleet Human Resources (DFHR)
  • Director Fleet Quality Assurance (DFQA)
  • Director Fleet Logistics (DFL)


Flag Officer FleetRear Admiral Bubele Mhlana
Chief of Fleet StaffRear Admiral (Junior Grade) Leslie Katerinic
Director Fleet Force PreparationRear Admiral (Junior Grade) Solly Petersen
Director Fleet Human ResourcesRear Admiral (Junior Grade) L. Metu
Director Fleet Quality AssuranceCaptain Kevin Packer
Director Fleet LogisticsRear Admiral (Junior Grade)
Director Naval Engineering ServicesRear Admiral (Junior Grade) Kevin Watson
FOC Naval Base Simon's TownRear Admiral (Junior Grade) Joseph Dlamini

Past Flag Officers Fleet

Force preparation

Director Fleet Force Preparations is responsible for the day-to-day running of the ships and submarines and for ensuring their operational readiness. The Maritime Reaction Squadron and Navcomcens also report into DFFP.

Maritime Reaction Squadron

The Naval Rapid Deployment Force (NRDF), now known as the Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS),[7] was formed in 2006.[8]

The main aim of this specialised unit is to deploy infantry-trained South African Navy members in various peacekeeping roles within the African continent and to assist in boarding operations at sea, humanitarian operations and disaster relief.[9]

The squadron consists of the following components:

  • Operational Boat Division (OBD), with 10 Namacurra-class harbour patrol boats and six Lima-class utility landing craft
  • Reaction Force Division (RFD), consisting of one naval infantry company with a command and support element
  • Operational Diving Division (ODD), consisting of four operational diving teams (ODT) of 17 divers[10]

Human resources

Director Fleet Human Resources is responsible for all training and manning and also controls the training units.

Training units

  • SAS Saldanha - located on the West Coast and provides training and development for ratings[11]
  • SAS Wingfield - located in the Greater Cape Town area; provides practical training for apprentices and the technical musterings[12]
  • SAS Simonsberg - training in gunnery, anti-submarine warfare, communications, diving and seamanship[13]
  • South African Naval College Gordon's Bay - training college for naval officers
  • Maritime Warfare School, Simonstown[14]
  • NBCD School - nuclear, biological, and damage control training


Director Fleet Logistics is responsible for all Logistics units as well as for the maintenance of the fleet.

Logistics units

  • Naval Armament Depot[15]
  • Naval Dockyard
  • Naval Stores Depot
  • Fleet Maintenance Unit
  • Naval Publications Unit

Quality assurance

Director Fleet Quality Assurance is responsible for the output of Fleet Command and monitoring Quality Assurance throughout Fleet Command.


  1. Molebeledi, Pule (July 16, 1988). "South Africa: Pretoria navy chiefs post to be abolished". AllAfrica. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  2. "NAVY HQ INAUGURATED". Mail & Guardian. March 31, 1999. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  3. Bennett, C. H.; Söderlund, A. G. (2008). South Africa's navy : a navy of the people and for the people. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-620-41446-3.
  4. Louw, Dalene (December 7, 2010). "Higgs hands over fleet command". Die Burger. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  5. "Schöultz takes the helm at the fleet". DefenceWeb. 2010-12-06. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  6. Wingrin, Dean (February 3, 2014). "Navy rising to meet new challenges". Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  7. "Edition No 4 of 2006" (PDF). 7 November 2006. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  8. "The SAAF Forum View topic - Maritime Reaction Squadron comes of age". saairforce.co.za. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  9. "Maritime Protection Squadron". navy.mil.za. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  10. "SA Navy to commission Maritime Reaction Squadron | defenceWeb". defenceweb.co.za. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  11. "SAS Saldanha Home Page". navy.mil.za. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  12. Bennett, C. H.; Söderlund, A. G. (2008). South Africa's navy : a navy of the people and for the people. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-620-41446-3.
  13. Bennett, C. H.; Söderlund, A. G. (2008). South Africa's navy : a navy of the people and for the people. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-620-41446-3.
  14. "Presentation by Chief of the SA Navy" (PDF). 17 November 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  15. Bennett, C. H.; Söderlund, A. G. (2008). South Africa's navy : a navy of the people and for the people. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-620-41446-3.
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