Maritime Reaction Squadron
|Maritime Reaction Squadron|
South African marines during an exercise
|Role||Amphibious warfare and VBSS|
Formed as the Naval Rapid Deployment Force (NRDF) in 2005, the MRS deploys infantry-trained South African Navy personnel in various peacekeeping roles within the African continent and to assist in boarding operations at sea, humanitarian operations and disaster relief.
The end of the South African Border War saw the disbandment of the South Africa Marine Corps, leaving the South African Navy without an amphibious element. After the integration of the South African National Defence Force the Navy was increasingly called on to assist with peace keeping operations. Realising that this situation would continue, the then Chief of the Navy Refiloe Johannes Mudimu, decided to create this capability by creating a Naval Rapid Deployment Force. An Operational Boat Squadron was formed in 2006 to ensure that South Africa could commit meaningfully to the peace keeping at the Great Lakes.
The Rapid Deployment Force became the Maritime Reaction Squadron on 1 September 2006. The unit was formally commissioned on 8 December 2008. Following the creating of the MRS the Operational Boat Squadron was upgraded to the Operational Boat Division.
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 of 17 divers.
- Operational Maintenance Division - maintains all the unit equipment
|Vektor Z88||Semi-automatic pistol||15-round magazine; licence-built Beretta 92F.|
|Heckler & Koch MP5||Submachine gun|
|Denel NTW-20||Anti-materiel rifle||20x82 mm and 14.5 mm variants|
|Vektor R1||Battle rifle||FN-FAL made under licence|
|Vektor R4 and R5 assault rifles||Assault rifle||Multiple variants|
|Denel Land Systems SS-77||General purpose machine gun||Used on the Namacurra-class harbour patrol boat.|
|M1919 Browning||Medium machine gun||Used on the Namacurra-class harbour patrol boat.|
|FN MAG||General purpose machine gun||Used on the Namacurra-class harbour patrol boat.|
|M2 Browning||Heavy machine gun|
- Engelbrecht, Leon (November 21, 2005). "Navy setting up rapid deployment force for peacekeeping". DefenceWeb. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Manganyi, Calvin (2012). "Resurrection of the Marine Capability in the South African Navy: The Maritime Reaction Squadron". Scientaria Militaria. 40 (3).
- Wingrin, Dean (November 26, 2009). "Exercise Xena testing Maritime Reaction Squadron". Defenceweb. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Engelbrecht, Leon (December 8, 2008). "SA Navy to commission Maritime Reaction Squadron". Defenceweb. Retrieved July 21, 2014.