In an era of flexi-time, collaborative working and horizontal business models, the traditional hierarchical structure is no longer in vogue. In some instances, however, one simply cannot do better than an old fashioned (read: effective), command and control model. Military and law enforcement agencies are the obvious examples. There is a reason why these organizations continue to operate in such a manner - and it’s not because they are “slow to adapt”, as some may be quick to argue.

Much as we have seen with contemporary counter-insurgency-type campaigns, anti-poaching and the related security function can be tedious and exceptionally time-consuming. Patrol, observe, report, repeat. For hours on end and days at a time. Those familiar with this sort of routine will appreciate the absolute necessity for discipline, structure and very clear direction. In the absence of such command and control, operational effectiveness is the first casualty.

It is against this backdrop that the Black Mambas APU, based in Balule Nature Reserve, have decided to initiate their first-ever senior command course. The aim being to develop and empower a generation of leaders within the unit’s own ranks.

Veterans for Wildlife are exceptionally proud to be facilitating this course on behalf of the Black Mambas. Over the period of three weeks in May, the charity will be deploying two highly-skilled and experienced volunteers to South Africa, with a mandate to deliver a key command, leadership and management course.

Our volunteers are both former British Army personnel (Royal Military Police and Royal Army Medical Corps respectively), with significant operational and command experience. Look out for further updates from both Aimée and Alisdair as they report back from the ground!