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The Lozi Territorial Force (LTF) is the national military of the Republic of Lozi, a partially recognized state. The LTF was established officially in 2009 when it gained "self reliance" status from the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) of the South African Defense Force, and consists almost entirely of the former 701 Battalion of the SWATF. With Lozi's small population of around 49,100 and the age and relative inexperience of the LTF, it is a small force of about only 4,000 active duty personnel; thus the region still relies heavily on the protection of the SWATF. The LTF is not divided into separate branches and instead consists of two infantry battalions with attached air support, and a small flotilla of river patrol boats. General Tim Kapwapwe is the current head of the Lozi Territorial Force.

Overview

The Lozi Territorial Force has its history almost entirely in 701 Battalion, a unit of the SWA Territorial Force (the South West Africa regional formation for South Africa). Around 1995, when South Africa committed itself to the formal independence of its black homelands, the SA Defense Force increased its efforts in assisting the homelands, including Lozi, with creating their own militaries.

701 Battalion was responsible to Sector 70 (Eastern Caprivi) of the SWATF, and was made up of a headquarters company, a support company, three infantry companies and a recon wing consisting of Bushmen trackers. Because many of its troops and officers were already familiar with the region and its people, the SADF General Staff decided that 701 would be the core force in the organization of the LTF. Only a small number of white South Africans chose to remain with the formation, however, most of the Ovambo and Bushman men decided to take the opportunity, moving their families and interests to East Caprivi.

Tim Kapwapwe, the current Chief of the Territorial Force, however, was not part of 701 Battalion or the SWATF. Kapwapwe has his history in the Caprivi African National Union (CANU), the other predecessor to the LTF. CANU was established in the 1960s and joined with SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) to fight against South Africa's "colonialist rule", especially in the Caprivi Strip. It did, however, not pose a great threat toward South Africa, warranting little military attention. In the 80s, it separated from SWAPO and turned civic.

Most former CANU fighters, after stringent vetting, joined their former SWATF foes in comprising the new Lozi Territorial Force. Kapwapwe was appointed as Chief of the Territorial Force upon its establishment in 2009 by Executive Council Chairman Peter Mamili.

Most of the LTF's current equipment and resources were given to it by the South African Defense Force. The AK-47, of which vast amounts were captured by the SADF during its war with SWAPO and FAPLA in Angola, has also been channeled to Lozi through South Africa. Due to Lozi's modest economy, it is unexpected that the Territorial Force will be purchasing any new weaponry independently. Under USAS agreement, SWATF will remain jointly responsible for the security and protection of Lozi along with the LFT until 2020, with the possibility of extending the agreement for another 10 years.

The LTF currently has three installations - LTF Katima Mulilo, LTF Impalila Island and the Kwando Barracks. Kwando Barracks is located on Lozi's eastern border, and is the home of the Force's elite Special Reconnaissance Unit, and also hosts 33 Battalion of the South West African Territorial Force. LTF Katima Mulilo is based out of the Katima Mulilo Airport, and serves the capital. LTF Impalila Island is located on Lozi's western border, and is also the LTF's principal training base.

Composition

  • Headquarters, Lozi Territorial Force
    • Chief of the Territorial Force
    • Reserve Coordination Office
    • SADF Liaison Office
  • 1st Lozi Infantry Battalion
    • A Company (LTF Impalila Island)
    • B Company (LTF Impalila Island)
    • C Company (LTF Impalila Island)
    • 1st Air Support Unit (LTF Impalila Island)
  • 2nd Lozi Infantry Battalion
    • The Presidential Rifles (LTF Katima Mulilo)
    • Lozi Motorized Unit (LTF Katima Mulilo)
    • The Special Reconnaissance Unit (Kwando Barracks)
    • 2nd Air Support Unit (LTF Katima Mulilo)

Equipment

Firearms

Vehicles

  • Rooikat armored fighting vehicle - 1
  • Ratel infantry fighting vehicle - 9
  • Casspir armored personnel carrier - 16
  • Buffel armored personnel carrier - 25
  • Various civilian vehicles refitted for military use

Aircraft

See also

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