Friday, October 31, 2014

Chief of Army Staff Visits Military Academy and Training Schools

11 June 2014. The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Major General Opoku-Adusei has paid a working visit to the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), Teshie on Wednesday, 11 June 2014.

Rear Admiral Bonsu, Commandant of MATS, briefed the COAS on the mission, organization, current training activities, ongoing projects and the challenges of MATS.  He said the primary mission of MATS was to mentor, train and empower members of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to carry out its core duty of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ghana from internal and external aggression.

He also said MATS had fourteen schools and there were some current training activities such as the officer cadets training courses, sergeant majors training activities and the advance weapon training.

He cited some ongoing projects such as the MATS officers’ mess, the two- bedroom flat for officers and the academy hall which were 85% complete.

The Commandant touched on some challenges facing MATS such as logistics, accommodation, transportation, encroachment of military lands among others.

Major General Opoku-Adusei expressed gratitude for the warm reception given him.  He said his visit had given him a deeper insight of activities of MATS.  He also said he had taken note of all that were said and measures would be put in place to curb some of the challenges bedeviling Training Schools.

The COAS disclosed that a written proposal to produce a clothing manufacturing company had been sent to the minister for Defence for his perusal.

This, he said would solve the challenge of inadequate uniforms for troops and create some level of job opportunities for the unemployed.  He also seized the opportunity to urge them to continue their good work and added that it was a good thing for one to leave a good legacy wherever one worked for posterity sake.

2014 ECOWAS Combined Joint African Exercise (C JAX)

11 June 2014. The Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), has organized a three day seminar for the 2014 Economic Communities of West Africa (ECOWAS) Combined Joint African Exercise (C JAX) from Monday, 9 June to Wednesday, 11 June, 2014.

The aim of CJAX 2014 therefore is to train peacekeepers at the operational level in a joint, multi-national and inter-agency environment in order to promote synergy between ECOWAS Command and Staff Colleges in peace support operations.

It is also meant to ensure a better understanding of the challenges involved in planning and coordinating a complex multi-national peace support operations. 

In his closing remarks, the immediate past Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Christian Edem Kwablah Dovlo (rtd), noted that, West Africa sub-region and the African Continent is continually being confronted with issues of insecurity which are seemingly becoming more entrenched, complex and transitional and thus posing grave threats to not only national but sub-regional stability.

AVM Dovlo (rtd) said “the very natures of these threats and situation we face require the reshaping and sharpening of old skills, and the acquisition of newer ones to meet these peace and security challenges”. A major requirement for success will be the effective coordination and harmonization of the efforts of all countries, stakeholders, forging common understanding and sharing best practices.

AVM Dovlo (rtd) said it was his conviction that the participants have acquired the requisite capabilities to understand the theory, and therefore analyse and apply the underlying doctrine, principles and procedure involved in the planning and execution of integrated joint and combined operations.  He added that, participants must also be able to evaluate the nature of ECOWAS led military operations and the capacities that are applied in solving this crisis.

AVM Dovlo (rtd) congratulated all the participants for their enthusiasm and significant level of participation throughout the exercise. He urged them once again to take the newly acquired skills to their organizations and countries and endeavour to make a difference wherever and whenever deployed on a peace support operation.

Earlier, on Monday 9 June In his opening remarks, the Commandant of GAFCSC, Air Vice Marshall (AVM), Issifu Sakib Kadri welcomed all the participants and observers to the exercise.

Judging from the caliber and participants assembled, he envisaged a very lively exercise. The Commandant was very confident that all participants would come out better informed in the mechanics of planning and execution of peace support operations after the exercise. He counted on the collective support of all, particularly, the experiences of those who have been involved in peace support operations before to ensure that the exercise yielded the desired benefits.

AVM Kadri observed that, despite the efforts by the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) and regional bodies to nib conflicts in the bud, especially on the African continent, conflicts still do occur which require the deployment of UN troops as well as the AU and other sub-regional standby forces to minimize lost of lives and destruction of properties.

He noted that, today, the advanced countries are finding it difficult to provide personnel and material for peace support operations on the African Continent. It is therefore necessary for ECOWAS countries to continue to build capacity to enhance participation in UN missions as well as AU and ECOWAS Standby Force Operations.

To the external participants who are coming to Ghana for the first time, the Commandant asked them to enjoy their stay and hoped they go back to their various countries with fond memories of Ghana in general and GAFCSC in particular.

This year’s exercise saw a mix of participants and observers from the ECOWAS and African Conference of Commandants (ACOCS) as well as the Directing Staffs (DS) and students from Jaji Nigeria, Retired Generals, Defence Attaches from USA and Cote D’Ivoire and observers from Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service.

Support Services Brigade Wins Boxing Competition

10-13 June 2014. The four-day Army Inter Command and Formation Boxing competition held in 3 Battalion of Infantry (3Bn), in Sunyani the in the Brong Ahafo Region, from 10 to 13 June, 2014 among Support Services Brigade, Southern and Northern Commands saw the Support Services Brigade immerging as the overall winner.

Addressing the closing ceremony, Maj Gen Richard Kwame Opoku-Adusei, the Chief of Army Staff, said that he was very much impressed with the high level of performance of the finalists in the various disciplines and congratulated all, especially the winners, for putting up a spectacular display.  He was certain that the objective of selecting a very formidable team to represent the Army in the forthcoming Inter-Services boxing competition had been achieved and was very confident that the team to be selected would not disappoint the Army.

He reminded the various competitors of the good number of national athletes that were unearthed through military sporting events and therefore, believed that the competition would go a long way in sharpening the skills of the competitors in both boxing and self defence which he said must not be used to molest their civilian counterparts rather, they must be used to compliment the effort of the Armed Forces at protecting and defending the nation.

The General also used the opportunity to congratulate the Support Services Brigade for emerging the overall winner with Northern and Southern Commands being first and second runners up respectively. Pte Yemofio Isaac and Pte Antieh Juliana, both from the Northern Command, emerged the best male and female boxers respectively. He also commended the officials for their fair but firm officiation which he said immensely contributed to the smooth conduct and success of the event.  He lauded the Commanding Officer 3Bn, Lt Col Edward Awarebey, for a well organised and successful completion of the competition in the face of all the challenges.

To grace the occasion were the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon Justice Samuel Adjei, the Regional Police Commander, Maxwell Atingani, Brig Gen Sampson Adeti and Brig Gen Joseph Adu Boampong, General Officers Commanding (GOCs) Southern and Northern Command respectively. The support Services Commander was represented by Lt Col Thomas Mensah, CO BOD.  

GAFTA Supports Duala Medical Center

7 June 2014. The Ghana Armed Forces Teachers’ Association (GAFTA), in collaboration with Nestle Ghana Ltd and Sky fall water, have, on 7 June 2014 organised a one-day entertainment programme for all pupils from 5 Garrison cluster of schools.

Dubbed ‘kids festival’, the event, which sought to not just bring the children together but also encourage them to always engage in physical exercises, took place at the Nicholson stadium. The children engaged in various activities including face painting, sack race, eating competition, draft, soccer, dancing competition, and ‘oware’.


In her opening address, the National President of GAFTA, Mrs Ernestina Dogbe, said that the principal aim of the festival was to solicit for funds to support the Duala Medical Centre and to promote energetic lifestyle through good nutrition. She emphasised that Milo has many nutritional benefits. She, therefore, entreated parents to ensure that they give the product daily to their children to enhance their mental and physical development.

She charged children to maintain a high standard of discipline to be useful in the future. Teshie cluster of schools were adjudged the overall best with Arakan Cluster of schools finishing first runners-up.   For their prizes, they were presented with boxes of Milo and five exercise books each.

Lebanon Supports Fallen Soldiers’ Dependants

5 June 2014. Members of the Lebanese community based here in Ghana have put together a scholarship package for all dependants of thirteen Ghanaian peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving with the UN in Lebanon.

A ceremony was held on 5 June, 2014 at Burma Camp in Accra to present the scholarship to the beneficiaries.  Eleven children, each coming from a fallen soldier, were present; the other two were represented by a close relative. With the exception of one of the beneficiary, who is in Primary 6, the rest are pursuing various courses in the University. 

The Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana HE Ali Halabi, who was the guest of honor, said that he was honoured to be at the event aimed at rewarding the sacrifices of GAF and its brave soldiers for laying down their lives for the world’s peace.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister for Defence, Hon Mark Owen Woyongo, for encouraging him in instituting the scholarship project and also for offering his full support. He also was thankful to the CDS, the Chief of Army Staff, officers, and men for their support. Assisted by the Defence Minister, the Ambassador presented the scholarship to the beneficiaries.

The Defence Minister said that Ghana has served in 63 United Nations peacekeeping missions, including Cambodia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Congo and other special missions around the world and continues to participate in such missions.

He stressed that Ghana ranks eight on the list of 122 Troop-Contributing Countries to the UN peacekeeping operations. He added that there is a  record of 236 police personnel, 65 military experts and 2,691 security personnel totaling 2,992 comprising 286 female and 2,706 male uniformed personnel serving on UN peacekeeping mission out of the 17 departments for peacekeeping operations, (DPKO)-led peace missions.

He stated that brave and gallant men and women, numbering over 3000 have lost their lives in search of global peace. These casualties, he explained, occurred as a result of acts of violence, accidents, and diseases. He said that Ghana’s share of the loses was about 130 peacekeepers since its first mission in DR Congo, then Zaire, in 1960.

Hon Woyongo charged the beneficiaries to carry the torch as pioneers, and be the new generation of leaders who would ensure that the sacrifices of their parents would not be in vain. The honourable minister said that it was his hope that a healthy relationship that exists among the Republic of Lebanon, the Lebanese community in Ghana and the good people of Ghana would continue to linger on for greater opportunities for all.

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