116 Battalion emblem
|Branch||South Africa Army|
|Part of||South African Army Infantry Corps|
|Motto(s)||Re Batho Batee Together we are one|
|Equipment||Buffel APC, Samil 20|
|Company level Inisgnia|
|SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992|
Origin of the black battalionsEdit
By the late 1970s the South African government had abandoned its opposition to arming black soldiers.
By early 1979, the government approved a plan to form a number of regional African battalions, each with a particular ethnic identity, which would serve under regional SADF commands.
116 Battalion was raised in 1986 as an original platoon of only 14 men but expanded quickly. The first personnel consisted of former Rhodesian soldiers who had moved to South Africa and were mustered by the Intelligence Corps. The Battalion was then based in Messina.
Special Service Companies for Quick ReactionEdit
116 Battalion, similar to the SWATF approach, also activated an immediate reaction force (Special Service Company) to deal with any attack and was primarily infantry company strength and fully motorised.
907 Special Service Company was formed from 116 Battalion's Bravo Company at Spence Shaft in 1986. 907 SSC was based at Madimbo and deployed on Buffels but converted to Cassspirs later.
116 Battalion was disbanded around 1999 as its main function of border control had been issued to the South African Police Service at that stage.
Peled, A. A question of Loyalty Military Manpower Policy in Multiethinic States, Cornell University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8014-3239-1 Chapter 2: South Africa: From Exclusion to Inclusion
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