Rhodesia - Intaf

Callsign - Lighthouse

Force Strengths

There are a number of myths and misperceptions as to the exact number of men and women who made up the security forces.  Official documents have come to light that indicate the following comparison between Intaf and the army.

Internal Affairs as at 8th Jan 1979

White staff on districts (regulars) x 423

District Assistants (regulars) x 1148

District Security Assistants (regulars for the duration) x 5533

Total regular personnel - 7104


IA National Service / Territorial elements

Senior Vedette Officer x 8

Vedette Officer x 7

Ensign x 24

Vedette Senior Warrant Officer x 1

Vedette Junior Warrant Officer x 24

Staff Vedette x 26

Vedette Section Leaders x 42

Vedette Detachment Leader x 35

Senior Vedette x 57

Vedette x 1650 (983 under age of 38 years, 660 over 35 years and 7 x phase 1 national servicemen)

Total - 1874


Regular Army as at 28th Feb 1978

Officers – 555

Women’s Service – 275

White soldiers – 2264

Black soldiers – 1933 (contrary to popular belief that there were more blacks than whites).

Total – 5027


Included in these figures above were the strengths for the Special Forces regiments which were:-

SAS – officers x 14, Women’s Service attached x 4, white soldiers x 160.  Total 178

Selous Scouts – Officers x 22, Women’s Service attached x 3, white soldiers x 92, black soldiers x 146.  Total 263

Several conclusions can be made from these figures.  It is not surprising that Intaf suffered more casualties than most other security forces as there were more Intaf personnel in the field than any other single unit in the entire security forces family.  The nature of Intaf's duties required its personnel to be in the field all the time throughout the year.  The army worked on a system of deployments when and where they were required.  Due to the fact that the army (and air force) were overstretched to the limit a government presence in all areas was left up to Intaf to fulfil.