Rhodesian security forces are using mounted horse troops in the fight against guerrillas in the more inaccessible parts of the country.
SV Horses being saddled (3 shots)
MCU Soldiers mounting horses (2 shots)
CU Riders move out (2 shots)
MV Mounted parol galloping up road
CU Native sitting, PAN TO soldiers riding along road
CU Horses and riders fording stream
CU Chicken PAN TO rider approaching
MV Riders approaching and entering village (2 shots)
SV Riders dismount, PAN TO women and children sleeping on ground
MV & CU Head man being interviewed by patrol; women look on (4 shots)
CU Soldier mounts horse and moves out
SV Patrol ride out of village PAN TO huts
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Background: Rhodesian security forces are using mounted horse troops in the fight against guerrillas in the more inaccessible parts of the country.
SYNOPSIS: The Mount darwin horse troop prepares to go out on patrol early in the morning. The detachment is made up of young district assistants belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Normally their work is with civic duties such as the registration of marriages and deaths.
Because of the increase in guerrilla activity, civil servants are being increasingly used in the fight. They work as a paramilitary unit separately, but in conjunction with the army and police.
Their greatest advantage comes in rough terrain where the army cannot take its vehicles. Their mobility and speed make them more effective than men on foot, who would take days to cover the same area.
The patrols usually visits most kraals in their administrative area every day. They travel in three or four patrols of about five men each.
This patrol was checking on a kraal which had reported that 38 head of cattle were missing. The previous week the horse troop arrested a guerrilla in a neighbouring kraal.
The village headman explained how the cattle were missed. The men come from the areas they patrol and therefore have the confidence of the villagers, says Jim Latham, the district commissioner of Mount Darwin who founded the troops in 1973.
One of the key issues in the Geneva conference on Rhodesia's future will be the question of who will control the security forces. at present the army, police and paramilitary units like this one hold the key to stability in the country.