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.
Drill and Duties Course 1-15 Ends
16 July 2015. Fifty-seven personnel have graduated from the Advance Drill and Duties Course 1-15 at the Drill and Duties Training School, Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), Teshie on Thursday, 16 July, 2015.
The graduants consisted of 49 personnel from the Army, two from the Navy, four from the Air Force and two from the Customs Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS).
The twelve week-course was run for selected Warrant Officers (WO), Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) and its equivalent ranks from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and other Security Services.
The aim of the course is to equip personnel with an up to date knowledge in drill. It emphasized on the ability of the students to instruct in drill and be able to organize ceremonial parades at all levels. It also aims at broadening their outlook in matters of general knowledge in unit administration and the norms of the profession.
The ultimate objective of the course was to prepare the graduants with the requisite knowledge to assist in the training at the various institutions for total manpower development in the security services.
The reviewing officer, Commander Army Training and Combat Schools (ATRAC), Brig Gen AK Boimah stated that, the need for professional and matured WOs and SNCOs has never been greater than it was now in view of the increasing complexity of society, crime and modern warfare.
He noted the hierarchy of the security services, particularly GAF has traditionally and truly depended on drill and duties graduants as an indispensable link between the officer corps and the junior ranks.
He reminded the graduants that as SNCOS, they were an important part of the chain of command and therefore they must always be aware of the indispensability of their contributions to command and the control and crucial leadership roles they were required to play in their respective services.
Brig Gen Boimah challenged the graduants to lead by example and demonstrate to all that they now have what it take to achieve unit goals and to enforce the highest standards of discipline in whichever capacity they would find themselves in.
He therefore seized the opportunity to congratulate them for successfully completing the course and implored them to bring their achievement to bear on their service by sharing the additional knowledge and experience they have gained from each other.
Lecture on Avian Influenza held in 6 Garrison
16 July 2015. The annual sustained educational program organized by 37 Military hospital to strengthen avian influenza surveillance and prevention in all military barracks has taken place with a lecture held on Thursday, 16 July 2015 at the 6 Infantry Battalion in Tamale.
The lecture which were led by Dr John Kofi Odoom of the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medicine and Dr Daniel Mingle from the 37 Military hospital were aimed at educating troops on influenza diseases especially those engaged in backyard poultry farming and subsequently orient them on preventive measures.
In his lecture, Dr John Kofi Odoom said the Avian Influenza is the most common respiratory infection and has a 5-15 attack rate contributing to an estimated 500,000 deaths annually.
He added that the infection causes sudden death and clinical signs in most cases may not be seen. Also, death occurs within hours after onset of depression with its mortality rate close to 100%.
Therefore in respect of an outbreak control, Dr Odoom outlined some preventive measures and advised troops not to touch or handle sick or dead birds with their bare hands and wash their hands with soap and water after handing sick or dead birds.
He further entreated them to keep their backyard poultry farms clean, provide foot bath for their birds and most importantly report illness or death of birds to the nearest Vertinary Service.
The lecture saw the attendance of troops from 6 Infantry Battalion, Airborne Force, Air Force Base Tamale and students from the 6 Garrison Education Schools.
Adjutants General of North DAKOTA Visits GAF
14 July 2015. The Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard Maj Gen David Sprynczynatzk has expressed his excitement at the improvement in the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and its disaster response in collaboration with the military.
He cited that he was delighted to have witnessed the ribbon and tape cutting to open the NADMO operations centre on 13 July, 2015.
He made this known when he called on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie at his office during his visit to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on 14 July, 2015 at Burma Camp.
The purpose of his visit he said was to discuss about the future of GAF’s partnership with North Dakota and seek for GAF’s requirement in the area of investment and exploring.
The Adjutant Gen of North Dakota touched on issues of security, training of female officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) of GAF, the organisation of table exercise and the need to strengthen the ties between Togo and Benin. He added that there are series of activities such as security programmes to be undertaken to support GAF’s partnership.
The State Partnership Programme Director of NDNG for Ghana-Togo and Benin, Lt Col Rusty Romans noted that the Engineers of NDNG helped in the recent rescue missions at Circle’s flood and fire tragedy at the Goil Filling station.
Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie expressed his joy at the peak at which the relation between GAF and NDNG is being strengthened and growing with lot of opportunities ahead. He noted that the various capacity building programmes introduced by the NDNG to GAF has been well assimilated and utilized in the operations with NADMO.
He touched on issues of training and how effective the Ambulance Service is in GAF. Ghana, he said, has modernized laboratories that undertake research and GAF also cooperates with its neighbouring countries to strengthen ties between them and that of security.
At the Army Headquarters, he was received by the Chief Staff Officer (CSO) Brig Gen Alhassan Abu and some staff of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Brig Gen Abu lauded NDNG for the enormous support they have been rendering to GAF. He said GAF has had a lot of partnership with the NDNG in Peace Support Operations training aspect.
He expressed his gratitude to the Adjutant Gen for the knowledge impacted into soldiers in responding to disaster operations. GAF he stated, needed resources to enable them recover heavy vehicles that would be washed down into drains, stating the June 3 disaster as an example. The role of the 48 Regiment in disaster management was also explained during the meeting.
Maj Gen Sprynczynatyk pledged to assist GAF in all endeavours. In their interaction he enquired about GAF’s Peace Keeping. He appealed to GAF to mentor Benin and Togo to build upon their capacity through joint exercises.
The Air Attache of the Embassy of the United States Lt Col Brett Clutter commended the Military Police for their professionalism and said he hoped Togo and Benin would emulate that professionalism. He disclosed that the leader of the African Peace Keeping Rapid Response team would be sent to Ghana to assess the country’s manner of investment, training, logistics and how the regions are benefiting from the rich experience.
Also at the Navy Headquarters, the Adjutant Gen met CSO Cdre Seth Amoama who briefed them on the benefit in the partnership, especially the African Partnership programme Ex Obangame Express where the Navy hosted the last exercise in Ghana. He talked about the training aspect of the Navy, Gulf of Guinea and arrest made by the Navy and operations they undertake.
Gen Sprynczynatyk was very delighted at the reception accorded to him by the three services. The State Partnership between GAF, NDNG and the Government has done a lot of good through exchanges in security safety, maintenance, professionalism and SNCOs development. He added that he looks forward to any opportunity they have to assist the Navy.
He ended his visit at the Air Force Headquarters (AFHQ). He was welcomed by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Vice Marshall Michael Sampson-Oje who briefed him on the challenges the region is facing such as terrorism, piracy and recently EBOLA outbreak and also on their air operations at Mali, projects, future projections and challenges.
The Adjutant Gen of North Dakota commended CAS for his entrepreneurial spirit and was impressed about their operations and safety so far. NDNG he said can support Air Force on safety and a few of their operations and hopes to train pilots in their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the mere future.
He pledged to bring onboard personnel to train students in the Air Force Trade Training School and hoped the Air Force can exchange programmes with Togo and Benin.