The STF is a highly specialised unit in the South African Police Service (SAPS), the members of which are responsible for only responding to high-risk incidents which include hostage-taking cases and search-and-rescue missions. It also provides specialised operational support to other units within the SAPS.
The cohort, which consists of 10 members led by Brigadier Chesten Gaffley, competed over a five-day period from March 13 to 17, when their mental and physical endurance in five gruelling exercises was put to the test.
In a statement on Saturday, the SAPS welcomed back the unit and commended it for its satisfactory performance.
“After a rigorous and challenging five days of competing in tactical challenges, mock hostage rescue missions, as well as raid and obstacle challenges, the competition ended with the STF collecting 82 points, which secured them position 13 in the overall competition,” the SAPS said.
The unit commander, Major General Nonhlanhla Zulu, who is the component head responsible for Specialised Operations, was at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday to welcome home the team.
Zulu believed the elite unit did its best.
“A lot of hard work went into preparing the guys for this challenge. We are satisfied with the results, taking stock of where we came previously when we were positioned second last,” he said.
Zulu said the hard work would now start with the preparations for next year’s challenge.
“Of paramount importance is that the members have gained skills, expertise and knowledge which they will impart to members across the specialised units,” he said.