Thursday, September 3, 2015

ATT Outreach Project to be Implemented in Ghana

23 July 2015. A five member delegation from the European Union (EU) on Thursday, July 23, 2015 paid a working day visit to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to deliberate on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) based on the request for assistance for the implementation of the ATT in Ghana which was submitted to the EU-ATT Outreach Project programme by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The treaty was aimed at strengthening the expertise and capacities of the partner country’s authorities through best practices, sharing, training and access to relevant information sources in order to ensure adequate implementation and enforcement of arms transfer controls.

The Director Legal of Services Col Moses Kofi Gyeke-Asante in his remarks stated that, the EU ATT Outreach Project which was opened for signature on June 3, 2013 and put in force on December 24, 2014 is designed to promote sustained adherence to the ATT in countries, involving relevant national and regional stakeholders such as Parliaments, competent regional organizations, industry and civil society representatives who have a long interest of monitoring the effective implementation of the ATT.

Col Gyeke-Asante stressed that, the ATT establishes common international standards for the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms such as warships, combat vehicles, battle tanks, combat aircrafts, small arms and light weapons for the purpose of contributing to global peace and security, reduce human suffering and promote co-operation and transparency among the various states.

He said the deliberation was also to identify gaps in Ghana’s arm transfer control system relative to the ATT, assess the capacity of responsible authorities and their coordination and to draft a roadmap for support for Ghana’s projects.

The leader of the delegation and Project Manager of the Outreach, Mr Marvin Diefenbach from Germany thanked the GAF for the opportunity given them to give a highlight on the ATT in Ghana and said the treaty, when implemented in Ghana would help combat the problem of small arms, light weapons, illegal weapon trafficking and help promote co-corporation among member states.

The Director General Personnel Administration (DG PA) Brig Gen Isaac Mensah Tetteh on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)  Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie thanked the delegation for coming and noted that, the GAF will continue to corporate with them to ensure the success of the ATT implementation in Ghana.

Present to grace the occasion were the Commander Support Service Brigade Group Brig Gen Musa Whajah, DAPKOP Col Nick Kporku, the Deputy Director Counter Intelligence, Defence Intelligence Lt Col Jonathan Kofi Kumado and other senior officers.

Other members of the delegation were Martin Drew from Revenue and Customs in Britain, Shu Hlongwa, Institute for security studies in South Africa and Elizabeth Kirkham, Safe world, United Kingdom.

Distribution of Camouflage Uniform to Army Personnel

a.    Ghana Army has taken delivery of some quantities of camouflage uniforms for distribution to troops.  Considering past experiences in the distribution of clothing it has become necessary to put in place some guidelines aimed at improving the procedure.  Below are some guidelines for the smooth distribution of and subsequent issue of the Uniforms to army personnel:

(1)    Units are to adhere to the following accounting procedure:

(a)    Clothing will be issued to Units based on the strength returns received excluding pers of Peacekeeping Missions, Demo Duties, RDF and PSC.

(b)    Units are to issue clothing to individual soldiers on DFG 1157 and DFG 1179 and ensure that each soldier has copy of DFG 1157.   

(c)    Copies of individual DFG 1179 duly signed by each soldier will then be forwarded to Army HQ (Log).

(d)    Future issue of clothing to Units will be conditional on the submission of return copies of DFG 1179 to Army HQ.

b.    Personnel who are currently on Peacekeeping mission will receive their uniforms in the mission areas and all attached pers will receive their uniforms in their respective attached Units.  Pers on Demo Duties, RDF and PSC will also be kitted in their various attached Units.

c.    All ranks are also reminded of the need to take proper care of their uniforms since they will be expected to turn out well at all times both within and outside the country.  Troops are to be cautioned that no supplementary issue of uniforms will be made to Army pers nominated for Peacekeeping Duties and Overseas Courses.

d.    All ranks are further reminded that care must be taken in carrying out alterations on military uniforms since inappropriate alterations on such clothing constitutes an offence which will not be tolerated by command.

Ghana Navy Inaugurates First Ever Naval Cadet School Corps in the Upper East Region

18 July 2015. The Ghana Navy on Saturday, 18 July 2015 inaugurated the first ever Naval Cadet School Corps at the Zebilla Senior High Secondary Technical School in the Bawku, West District of the Upper East Region.

In a welcome address, the Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Catherine Nbun noted that, the Naval Cadet Corps was the first of its kind in the whole of the 3 Northern Regions. She also on behalf of the school expressed her deepest appreciation to the Eastern Naval Command for the commitment and keen interest shown in the establishment and subsequent training of the Cadets.

Mrs Nbun said, the establishment of the Naval Cadet School Corps was a great achievement for the School but the challenges that came with it required a determined effort to succeed. She therefore appealed to other Security Agencies to support the school cadet with logistics and praised the Ghana Navy for the tremendous support in the successful formation of the school cadet.

The Headmistress further made a passionate plea to the Ghana Navy to consider some of the Cadets for recruitment after they had completed their secondary school education.

Representing the Ghana Navy, Lt (GN) Abdul-Gafara Wumbei of the Eastern Naval Command said he was highly impressed with the drill and skills exhibited by the Cadet Corps. He urged them to take their academic activities very seriously in order for them to achieve their set objectives in life.

The Guest of Honour, Mr Nav-Ire P David, District Coordinating Director, Bawku West District Assembly, said “the institutionalization of the cadet corps into our educational system sets out to teach our young ones the importance of discipline in life, develop the physique, give the mind the spirit of self-control and satisfaction of achievement and teaches leadership as well as good fellowship qualities.”

He added that, the need for the cadet corps in schools is important because it affords the opportunity to spread the message of discipline and inculcate in the minds of the youth, the spirit of patriotism not only for self-development but to become alive to the communities responsibilities.

The District Coordinating Director advised the cadets to exhibit the good virtues of patriotism that have been instilled in them. He also commended the Ghana Navy, Instructors and students for the combined effort in the achievement of a Naval Cadet Corps in the Region.

Defence Management Course Ends

10 July 2015. The Deputy Minister for Defence Hon Kenneth Gilbert Adjei has reiterated the need for governmental institutions and other private departments to introduce innovative programmes in its curricula in order to bring together agencies of state to learn and deliberate on common approaches pertaining to national issues.

Hon Adjei stressed that effective collaboration between academic and governmental institutions and private businesses is the driving force for the development of countries in developed world.
He made these remarks during the closing ceremony of the Defence Management Course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) on Friday, July 10, 2015 at Teshie in Accra which commenced on June 29, 2015.

The deputy minister noted that the aim of the course was to expose uniformed and civilian personnel working within the security sector to the issues, principles and techniques relevant to improving the governance and management of the defence and security sectors.

He said the key objectives of the course was also to enable civil servants and military officers locate defence within the wider context of national and regional security, familiarize participants with the domestic framework within which security and defence are both managed and delivered and also to enable civil servants and military officers to approach each other’s roles and the legitimate roles of others within the security and defence sectors.

Hon Adjei congratulated all the thirty one participants for their enthusiasm during the course and urged them to endeavor to stay in touch and exchange information from the benefit derived from the course in order to impact  the nation’s ability to manage defence and security issues better in the future.

He commended the initiative of GAFCSC and the effective collaboration between the college and other academic institutions such as GIMPA for running such an innovative course and said that this should serve as an example for other academic institutions to seek ways of engaging Ministries, departments and other agencies to develop new products and best practices in upgrading the skills of their staff.

He also thanked the Commandant of the college Air Vice Marshall Issifu Sakib Kadiri, staff, resource persons and all who contributed in the success of the course.
Participants were drawn from the Ghana National Fire Service, Police, Immigration, Prisons, Custom Excise and Preventive Services, Ministry of Finance, Attorney Generals Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and some staff of GAFCSC.

Present at the ceremony were students of the Senior Division course at the college and some senior officers of the college.

UN Honours Ghanaian Peacekeepers in Mali with Peace Medal

17 July 2015. The Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Major General Michael Lollesgarrd has commended Ghana contingent currently serving with MINUSMA for the display of professionalism, hard work and discipline towards the achievement of MINUSMA’S mandate and peace in Mali. He recalled that Ghana’s involvement in peacekeeping operations dated back to the 1960’s and expressed MINUSMA’s gratitude to the Government of Ghana for their contributions, commitment and support to global peace.

Maj Gen Michael Lollesgarrd made these remarks when he presented Peace medals to personnel of Ghana Military Aviation Unit 1 and Ghana Engineer Company 3 on the occasion of their Medal Presentation Parade held on Friday 17 July 2015 at Senou Transit Camp, Bamako.

On parade to mark the day were three officers and 48 men made up of two contingents drawn from the Ghana Engineer Coy 3 and Ghana Military Aviation Unit 1 under the command of Flt Lt Christopher Gaddah with the colour Party in attendance. The parade Regimental Sergeant Major was Senior Warrant Officer Acheampong Owusu Peter the architect of the ceremony.

The Force Commander who was also the Reviewing Officer for the occasion, showed his appreciation to the Government of Ghana for adding a Military Aviation Unit to the Ghana Engineering Company to support the Mission.  He added that since its deployment in September 2014, the Unit has accomplished all its assigned tasks promptly, professionally and efficiently.  He enumerated other tasks which have been successfully carried out by the Unit such as, providing Fixed Winged Tactical Air Transport Services for various purposes, provision of logistics support flight, Air MEDEVAC/CASEVAC as well as general passenger flights adding that, since its insertion the Unit has flown over 292 sorties amounting to about 600 hours of flight time and has airlifted about 334,000 tons of Cargo.

Maj Gen Lollesgaard described Ghana Engineer Company 3 as one of the main movers of the Mission in terms of the provision of Mission shelters. He noted that the Unit after taking over from their predecessors in January 2015, has among other things put up the highest number of prefabs in the theatre. ‘‘The Unit is currently solely responsible for the construction of all prefab Units in the MINUSMA Super Camp in Tombouctu he said”.  He announced that over 40 prefabs have been constructed in the Super Camp alone. In addition, he said the Unit has given the task to clear about 240,000 meter square of land along the runway at the Tombouctu Airport as part of measures to improve security.

On the humanitarian front, the FC acknowledged the donations to support the needy in society and other CIMIC activities provided to the Local population which has won the hearts and minds of the people. He expressed gratitude to His Excellency Mahmud Khalid, Ghana’s Ambassador to Mali who was represented by Mr Gustafson Dovlo, head of Chancellery and the Leader of the Ghanaian Medal delegation, Air Commodore Julius Sefadzi Dzamfe for gracing the occasion. He congratulated the Ghanaian Contingent Commander, Colonel Peter Kwame Ghansah, the Commanding Officer Ghana Military Aviation Unit 1 Group Captain Reginald Yaw Cole and the Officer Commanding Ghana Engineer Company 3 Major Maxwell Komla Appoh for their exemplary leadership.

Maj Gen Lollessgarrd praised the Contingent for an impressive parade and congratulated personnel for working hard for their medals and asked them to wear it with pride as it indicates appreciation of their faithful commitment and sacrifices towards peace.

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