Thursday, April 17, 2014

Security Services Clean up Streets of Tamale

22 February 2014. The Security Services within the Tamale Metropolis embarked on a Clean-up Exercise in the township on Saturday 22 February 2014. The aim of the exercise was to demonstrate the virtue of Esprit-de-corps to the civil populace as well as bridge the gap between Service Personnel and their counterpart civilians by reaching out to them through the clean-up exercise.

The Exercise spear-headed by 6 Garrison Commanded by Air Cdre PK Ayisa, coordinated the involvement and participation of the para-military Services. Troops were also equipped at the converging point by Zoomlion with cleaning materials. 

The clean-up started at about 0730hrs at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) and major streets in town. At the Hospital, the team led by Capt MS Amoah cleaned the surroundings and wards with the hospital providing additional cleaning equipment and some detergents.

Another team led by Flt/Lt NS Naab handled the major streets in town.  While the cleaning was on-going, troops were also in high spirits as they happily sang cheer songs and danced alongside, attracting the attention and admiration of many.

By 1045hrs both teams were done and converged once again at the Jubilee Park for debrief by 2IC ABF Maj Nana Darkwah. He lauded the troops for good job done and advocated its continuity as a way of setting example for others to follow.  In all, 30 officers and 470 men undertook the exercise. Also present were the MCE, the Regional Coordinating Director and some Friends from the Media.

President Lauds GAF’s Esteemed Professionalism

21 February 2014. The President of the Republic of Ghana His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has lauded the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for the professional posture they exhibited in the year 2013 despite challenges in securing the environment for the socio-economic development the country has enjoyed so far.

“GAF’s combined efforts with other Security agencies helped keep tensions within limit and assured Ghanaians of the continued stability to enable us advance our developmental agenda”, he stated.

These statements were made by the Minister of Defence Mr Mark Owen Woyongo on behalf of the President at the General Headquarters 2013 West African Soldiers Social Activity (WASSA) on 21 February 2014 at the Burma Hall forecourt, Burma Camp.

He further praised GAF for the continued sacrifices they render by controlling armed robbery and other related crimes with the military and police joint patrols, keeping the borders safe, their active response to natural disasters, protection of the maritime domain and the provision of health services they give to civilians wherever they are deployed.

The President also applauded GAF for making the nation proud at the International Peace support operations. Additionally, he stressed on the need to empower the Armed Forces to strengthen their scope and capacity to complement other sectors of the economy.

Government, he said is also making progressive effort to upgrade the GAF to enable them handle security since as the economy grows threat to national security heightens thus, Government will do its best to strengthen the pillars that hold security in the country.

HE John Dramani Mahama further advised criminals, environmental degraders and detractors to peace to make good use of opportunities that exists in the economy, to channel their energies into more productive and rewarding sectors. He urged all to keep the country together and to avoid divisive tendencies that bring out acrimony.

The President extended his appreciation to all the developmental partners and diplomatic corps who particularly support GAF in their doctrine developments, training and equipment acquisition.

The Chief of Staff of GAF, Major General Bobson Saagbul highlighted the successes in the year 2013. He said all these successes were achieved due to the able and willing support of the Presidency and the Minister for their innovative approaches adopted to manage the challenges GAF went through.

“These supports enabled the Armed Forces to accomplish its missions for the year despite resource constraints”, he noted.  Additionally, GAF was able to complete its training programmes for the year 2013 as scheduled and on the international front, they carried out all their obligations expected by the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS in Peace Support Operations.

He therefore urged all to remain professional, focused and committed to meet GAF’s constitutional obligations and also adhere to the core values of the Armed Forces.  He however, assured of High Command’s unity to resolve and shape the GAF to meet the operational readiness to respond to national needs.

9th EEZ Management and Operation Course Ends at GAFCSC

21 February 2014. The 9th Exclusive Economic Zone Management and Operation Course (EEZ) which started on Monday 17 February 2014 has ended on Friday 21 February 2014 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) Teshie.

The course was organised by GAF to provide participants with background knowledge required by professional maritime practitioners and affiliates as well as important decision makers in EEZ management and operation with the view of enabling a better understanding of issues involved. 

Among the objectives of the EEZ were to create awareness among stakeholders about the enormity of the resource potential and requirements for monitoring, control and surveillance of the EEZ, to identify the capabilities required to manage the EEZ (including surveillance, response and regulations of activities within the EEZ). The Course was also aimed at enabling all stakeholders to appreciate the magnitude of each other’s contributions towards the management of resources within the country’s EEZ and to develop mechanisms to harness the collaborative efforts to support the training and financing of the operations involved in management of the EEZ.

The Commandant GAFCSC Air Vice Marshal IS Kadiri in his remarks urged the participants to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired during the period of the course.  He reminded them that no scale of effort or sacrifice was too small to shape their interest in the EEZ for the prosperity of the people and generation to come and acknowledged the concerted efforts and inputs of all the participants and resource persons in the college.

AVM Kadri urged all participants to continue in the same Spirit of their various Units.  He acknowledged the support of the UK government for the Ninth EEZ management and operation course and wished the participants a safe journey back home.

Certificates were awarded to the participants and a token presented to the resource person from the United Kingdom by the Guest of Honour, Chief Director of the Ministry of Defence, Mr Alhaji Alidu Fuseni.

He said our Nation Ghana stand to lose a lot if we don’t device effective, coordination strategy to ensure that the exploitation of this recourse in the EEZ is maintained.

He noted that the activities in the zone have become complex and dangerous and in order to ensure effective management of this zone, there would be the need to formulate strategies, effective collaboration and cooperation of each and every one whose country share the shorelines.

He also urged the participants to share knowledge and exchange backgrounds.  He congratulated the organizers and GAFCSC of designing and organizing the course and appreciated the UK Government for supporting the course.  He thanked the stakeholders who sent representatives to the course.

The course has been run for the past nine years and has trained over four hundred and fifty (450) participants from Ghana and other countries.

He told the participants that “EEZ is a complex environment and an environment that is rapidly changing in our global world, which has certain attributes that almost every country cannot afford to avoid”

Small Arms Commission Begins Nationwide Marking of Weapons with GAF

19 February 2014. The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has begun a nationwide exercise to mark all weapons of the various security agencies.

The marking of weapons involves a systematic embossment for unique identification numbers on a firearm in an easily identifiable and coherent manner. Also, an effective and reliable database is kept of such weapons so that any illegally diverted weapon from the state armoury can be traced back to the point of diversion.

Speaking at a short Press briefing before the commencement of the exercise at Burma Camp on 19 February 2014, Mr Jones Applerh the Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons said, the move was part of measures by the Commission to control the proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light weapons in the country.

He disclosed that the exercise was also in fulfillment of Article 18 of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons which Ghana is signatory to.

The exercise which has started with the Military will be extended to the other State Security agencies such as the Police, Prisons, Immigration and the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS).

The exercise which has begun in the Greater Accra Region will be replicated in the other regions across the country and extended to the civilian weapon holders.

British Frigate Trains with Ghana Navy

18-20 February 2014. The British Royal Navy’s Devonport based frigate, HMS Portland has visited Ghana for the second time since 2010, with the aim of strengthening the existing bonds with the country.  The three-day visit at the Tema Harbour from Tuesday 18 February to Thursday 20 February 2014 was also characterized by series of training with personnel from the Ghana Navy.

The Type 23 Frigate was deployed on 13 January, 2014 for a routine seven month Atlantic Patrol Tasking. During the deployment, it is expected to undertake maritime security operations, including counter narcotics and anti-piracy patrols. They would provide opportunities to work with other sub-regional navies to further strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.

At a dinner reception on board the ship, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Peter Jones expressed his admiration over the healthy defense relationship between the two navies which had transitioned to a genuine partnership in the face of mutual threats and concerns. He said the visit of the Royal Navy Ship demonstrated their resolve to keep the oceans safe to allow nations to pursue legitimate economic and security interests.

HE Peter Jones emphasised that key to improving and maintaining maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea was regional cooperation. The Code of Conduct signed by 21 Heads of States of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African States ( ECCAS) and Commission of the Gulf of Guinea countries at Yaoundé in June last year provided the platform from which the region could move forward. This, he said, demonstrated the increasing commitment of African leaders to properly control the maritime domain.

In order to maintain the momentum, the British High Commissioner stressed that regional and international naval cooperation needed to be expanded and sustained.  He said the presence of the Ghana Navy Ship Garinga, and the ships from the UK and France in the waters of Ghana, exercising together and exchanging personnel and ideas was an excellent demonstration of the countries’ joint resolve.

He further hinted that another indication of these countries’ resolve to maintain a secure and strong maritime domain was the establishment of a Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea soon to be inaugurated at the Regional Maritime University in Ghana. This he said would provide an invaluable service to all merchant ships operating in the region.

The Royal Navy’s first female commander of a warship, and captain of the ship, Commander Sarah West in a press briefing noted that the visit was to enable the British and the Ghana Navies share experiences while training and provide the opportunity for better understanding between the two navies. The training focused on countering common threats and challenges such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, trafficking or illegal unregulated and unreported fishing.  She said the regional response to curtailing these activities had been encouraging and was gaining momentum following the meeting of Heads of States from the region in Yaoundé last year.

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