Veertig jaar se ondersteuning ter see. Gevegsteunskepe in die Suid-Afrikaanse Vloot, 1967-2007 (2): SAS Drakensberg en SAS Outeniqua
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Forty years ago, on 10 August 1967, the South African Navy (SAN) commissioned its first ever replenishment ship. In this two-part study of the SAN’s replenishment ships (in due course known as combat support ships) a review is supplied of the role these ships played in the history of the SAN (and South African Defence Force, since 1994 known as the South African National Defence Force). In the first part of the study, the role played by SAS Tafelberg (1967-93) and SAS Drakensberg (1987-93) was analysed. In this, the second and last part of the study, the continued role of the Drakensberg (1993-2007), as well as the role of SAS Outeniqua (1993-2004), are discussed. Since 1994, when South Africa’s first-ever truly democratic elections took place, the country has been welcomed back by the international community and more doors (and ports) than ever before have been opened for the country’s diplomats (including the Navy’s grey diplomats; i.e. warships sent out on flag-showing cruises), while the SAN’s combat support ships have also been involved in disaster relief and other humanitarian operations.