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South African Armed Forces

2 SWA Specialist Unit

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2 SWA Specialist Unit - (5 members)

2 South West African Specialist Unit was formed on 1 January 1987 when 1 South West African Reconnaissance Regiment was amalgamated with 1 SWA Parachute Battalion and 32 Battalion's Reconnaissance Wing

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17859Posted by

John-Michael Tawse
on 2 June

RE: 2 SWA Specialist Unit

From my Dad, Godfrey Tawse - a short summary on History of 2 SWA SPES:

The unit formed as an independent platoon of a Modular coy of Sector 40 and was the first Rapid Reaction Unit in SWA based in Windhoek. This started in 1975 - at my home I had a gun room where I held the LMG's, ammo and grenades, radios etc. This was not a happy time as the Sector Coy was commando orientated. In 1986 I joined PF and was appointed SO1 OPS of 91 Bde (CF) under Col Esterhuizen. I wore two hats as I was also the OC of the embryonic PARA UNIT. I worked closely with 1 PARA and each of my platoons were added the PARA Companies as an extra valk. Only from 87 did we first deploy as a company. By this time I had PF officers as company commanders and a RSM (Petersen) - also we had our first non white paratroopers!!! Without them the unit would never have got off the ground as I was restricted to 30 white volunteer S/WESTERS each year - these all trained 6 months at Infantry School and then 6 months at 1 PARA. These JL's were divided into OPS and TRG coys - the first deployed immediately and the second group in July From the beginning we were not popular with Sector 10 an they decided we would only be deployed in Angola. This was good news and the unit saw lots of action on the infiltration route around EVALE. Here we worked closely with 32 Bn as part of a 3 coy Bn Gp along with 4 Unimog 81's This was the last time I could spend 5 days with my unit under fire. In July I handed over to Nick who was immediately promoted to Cmdt. I had the priviledge to be the guest-of-honour at the last Formal Dinner held in SWA on 28/9/88, St Michaels Night - Patron Saint of Paratroopers....

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