African Special Operations Insignia #1 – The Namibian Police Special Reserve Force is s the first in a series of articles looking at the insignia worn by various African nation’s airborne and special operations units,
This is the first in a series of articles looking at the insignia worn by various African nation’s airborne and special operations units. Please like and follow the page to be kept updated of future installments.
The Special Reserve Force (SRF) is a specialist SWAT type unit within the Namibian Police Force (Nampol), tasked with responding to high risk operations that cannot be handled by conventional police units. It is based on the South African Police Service Special Task Force (which will be the subject of a future article). The SRF were initially designated the title Special Task Force when first raised as an adjunct to the Namibian Police Special Field Force, a somewhat notorious paramilitary police unit, that at the time was comprised largely of ex combatants from the former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the military wing of SWAPO and former South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) personnel. In 1996 the Nampol Special Task Force was disbanded but then reformed in the late 1990’s, early 2000 and renamed the Special Reserve Force. The unit, which is also sometimes referred to as the Special Reserve Force Division (SRFD) operates out of the National Police Headquarters at Windhoek and is believed to number around 300 personnel. Working alongside other agencies, their role includes crowd control, VIP protection, hostage resolution, counter terrorism plus search and rescue operations.
Members of the Nampol Special Reserve Force equipped for crowd control duties.
Operators from the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) of the Nampol Special Reserve Force Division circa 2014.
Special Reserve Force instructors at Ruben Danger Ashipala Police Training Centre.
Service with the Special Reserve Force Division is open to both male and female police officers who have to complete selection and a six week training cycle, which is held at Khan Mine, a disused copper mine about four hours’ drive east of the capital Windhoek. The training programme includes marksmanship, hostage negotiation, tactical roping, CQB skills and riot control. Upon successful completion the new members are permitted to wear a black beret, SRF qualification badge and a distinctive camouflage uniform, which according to the dress regulations on the Namibian Police Force website, may only be worn by members of the SRFD. Qualified operators can also volunteer to undertake diver and parachute training, with the latter being permitted to wear a special variation of the SRF badge to identify them as being para qualified.
Metal and lucite parachutist qualification badge purportedly made for qualified members of the SRF. The construction of this badge indicates that is likely to have been made by the ‘Metal Art’ company in South Africa. It is unknown whether the standard SRF qualification also exists in this style and thus far I have found no evidence of either actually being worn by members of the SRFD.
Namibian Police shoulder patch. Several variations of this patch exist, however this type is often seen being worn by members of the Special Reserve Force.
Namibian Police cap badge as worn on the black beret of the Special Reserve Force.
Policemen from the Nampol Special Reserve Force Division pose for a photograph. Note the distinctive SRF camouflage and black berets.
Namibian Police Special Reserve Force vehicle and insignia detail
Inspector General of the Namibian Police Sebastian Ndeitunga. The distinctive SRF qualifcation can be seen embroidered onto the left breast of his shirt. August 2014
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