Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lebanese Community Awards Fourteen Dependants of Martyrs of GAF

15 March 2016. The Lebanese Community in Ghana has presented scholarship awards to fourteen dependents of the martyrs of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on Tuesday 15 March, 2016 at Burma Hall.

The purpose of the presentation was to eulogise their fallen heroes and heroines who offered themselves willingly to the service of mankind.

In his speech, the Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana HE Ali Halabi said even though the Martyrs were no more, their willingness to sacrifice had earned them their lasting gratitude. “It is for this reason that the Lebanese community decided to honour their memories by giving scholarships to the wards of these martyrs,” he stressed.

He pointed out that the presence of the Lebanese community in Ghana dated back to a century ago and they have had the opportunity to witness Ghana’s journey to independence, the creation of her institutions, the various power transitions among others.

He emphasised that Ghana had not been selfish, adding that even in war torn areas Ghanaian soldiers could be found breaking sweat and even losing their lives or remained forever maimed in their quest to maintain order.

He thanked the High Command for their support and to the beneficiaries; he noted that the award would go a long way to reduce their financial burdens. He advised them to note that, it was through the hard work of their parents that they had merited the scholarship, therefore they should work hard to make them proud wherever they may be.

On his part, the CDS Air Marshal Michael Sampson-Oje noted that as an Armed Force, they were encouraged by the gesture from the Lebanese Community in Ghana. He said, to them, it meant that whenever duty called, they had to put their heart into executing every task, knowing that should they die in the line of a duty, there are good people who would support their families and dependents to ensure they are well catered for.

He stated that Lebanon and Ghana have had a long lasting relationship adding that Ghana was a host to a large Lebanese community. He said GAF also played a major role in helping bring peace and stability to Lebanon.

The CDS named Lt Gen Erskine as the first Force Commander to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), adding that a large number of Ghanaian troops had served and still serving in Lebanon as part of the UN Forces.

Air Marshal Sampson-Oje said Lebanon had provided diverse assistance to Ghana. He said the support of the Lebanese community towards education in Ghana was very laudable especially to the law faculty of the University of Ghana and the dependents and families of martyrs.

He stated that it was interesting to note that the Lebanese community does not only support dependents and families of GAF but extended such support to beneficiaries from the Police, Immigration and the Prisons Services and this had helped to strengthen the security in the country.

He urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the scholarships so that their effort in providing them with the scheme would not be wasted.

The beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme are studying in various tertiary institutions in the country and the Lebanese community has awarded over 150 scholarships to bright students in Universities across the country over the past years.

Present at the ceremony were the Minister of Defence Hon Dr Benjamin Kumbour, the Chief of Staff (COS) Brig Gen Sampson K Adeti, the Service Chiefs, Director Generals and some Senior Officers.

Ghanbatt 82 Marks Independence Day with Flag Raising

6 March 2016. The 82nd Ghanaian Battalion serving in UNIFIL joined Ghanaians all over the globe to mark Ghana’s 59th Independence Anniversary with a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Battalion Headquarters, Al-Qawzah, South Lebanon on Sunday, 6 March 2016.

The Ceremony was marked by the hoisting of the Ghana National Flag accompanied by singing of the National Anthem and sounding of trumpet to symbolize the sweat and toil for the attainment of the Independence. Prayers were also offered to the departed forefathers who by dint of hard work and struggles, Ghana obtained freedom from the colonial masters.

The Contingent Commander, Col Michael Amoah Ayisi who was the Guest of Honour was accompanied by the Commanding Officer, Lt Col OJ Ampadu for the flag raising. Col Amoah Ayisi in his remarks praised the Ghanaian Contingent for joining the rest of their compatriots in reaffirming their commitment to uphold the dearly held stopcocks of democracy, freedom and respect for human right.

Col Amoah Ayisi urged his Ghanaian compatriots to use the day to rededicate themselves to work in unity toward the rebranding of Ghana, free from poverty, corruption, oppression and ignorance. These he said were the same ideas for which our forebears lived, sacrificed and offered their lives. He added that personnel must emulate same example and lift the image of Ghana high.

He added that, for this reason, it was important for all to contribute their quota to the achievement of strengthening the democratic principles of Ghana. 
On parade to mark the day was a Contingent of 33 personnel under the Command of Capt Oscar Daniel Opoku with Lt Gideon Ampoma carrying the colour with Warrant Officer Class II Owusu Ansah as the Contingent Sergeant Major.  The ceremony was attended by Senior Officers from UNIFIL headquarters, Ghanaians and friends from other African countries and some locals.

UNIFIL Lauds GHANBATT’s Peacekeeping Efforts in Lebanon

4 March 2016. The Deputy Force Commander (DFC), Brig Gen Sandeep Singh Bajaj has express the gratitude of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to the 82nd Ghanaian Battalion (GHANBATT) for their continuous and meritorious contribution towards the accomplishment of the UNIFIL mandate and peace in the Southern Lebanon. 

Brig Gen Bajaj was speaking on behalf of the Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, Maj Gen Luciano Portolano during the Medals Presentation Parade, to show appreciation to personnel of UNIFIL GHANBATT 82 at the Kofi Annan Square, Al-Qawzah, South Lebanon on Friday 4 March 2016.

The DFC added that, he has noted with pride the deep sense of professionalism and commitment the Battalion has exhibited in the discharge of their duties, which fellow peacekeepers in UNIFIL and the local population attest to.

Brig Gen Bajaj noted that, GHANBATT’s responsibility of monitoring the 23km stretch of the Blue Line day and night as no mean task especially, in the light of the simmering conflicts in the sub region and its potential spillover into UNIFIL Area of Operation which has compelled the mission to increase patrols in order to forestall any eventuality.

Present at the occasion was Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt, HE Lt Col Ahmed Umar Sanda (rtd), Ghana’s Honorary Consul General to Lebanon, HE Michel Haddad, Southt Litani Sector Commander, Brig Gen Charbel Abu Khalil, Sector West Commander , Brig Gen Franco Fredrici and the Medals Day Delegation drawn from Ghana Armed Forces, led by Rear Admiral Emmanuel Akoto Bonso, Commandant Military Academy and Training Schools of the Ghana Armed Forces, other members of the delegation included; Brig Gen Mensah Isaac Tetteh, Director General Logistics, Commodore Seth Amoama, Chief Staff Officer Ghana Navy Headquarters, Colonel Nicholas Peter Andoh, Army Secretary, Group Capt Charles Addico, Director Air Force Peace Support Operations and Lt (GN) Elikem Korku Attipoe, the aide de camp to the Leader of the delegation. Also present at the parade were the Ghana Contingent Commander in UNIFIL, Col Michael Amoah Ayisi and the Commanding Officer of GHANBATT 82, Lt Col OJ Ampadu, UNIFIL fraternity, Ghanaians living in Lebanon, Mayors, Religious Leaders and locals.

In all Seven Officers and 140 personnel of GHANBATT 82 were on parade under the command of Maj AY Owusu.

The Ghana government presented a generator to UNIFIL strategic dialogue in support of the Lebanese Armed Forces, aimed at strengthening the already existing good relations among both countries and yet another demonstration of the strong and effective partnership between Ghana and Lebanon.

Earlier, the leader of the Delegation from Ghana interacted with personnel of the Battalion at a durbar. Rear Admiral Akoto Bonsu commended troops for a good work done and entreated them to remain resolute in the rest of the days ahead. The delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj Gen Luciano Portolano who was full of praise for GHANBATT’S contribution to UNIFIL mandate.

GHANBATT 82 is the first Ghanaian Battalion to spend a one year duty tour in UNIFIL under the Command of Lt Col OJ Ampadu and the first to migrate from the Dry lease to the Wet Lease system of the UN, where GHANBATT now operate with logistics provided solely by the government of Ghana.

Ghana Government Donate Generator to LAF

4 March 2016. The Government of Ghana donated a 25 kva generator set to UNIFIL strategic dialogue in support of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). This donation was made during the Medals Presentation Parade at the Battalion Headquarters at Al Qauza at UN Position 5-66, South Lebanon on Friday 4 March 2016.

Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt, HE Lt Col Ahmed Umar Sanda (rtd), Ghana’s Consul General to Lebanon, HE Michel Haddad, the Leader of the Ghana Armed Forces Delegation, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Akoto Bonsu presented the generator set on behalf of Ghana, whiles the Deputy Force Commander, Brig Gen Sandeep Singh Bajaj and the South Litani Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces received the donation on behalf of LAF.

This donation was aimed at strengthening the already existing good relations between both countries and yet another demonstration of the strong and effective partnership between Ghana and Lebanon. Ghana has served in UNIFIL from 1978 and currently has the 82nd Battalion serving a one year duty tour for the first time under the command of Lt Col OJ Ampadu.

A Delegation from US Marine Forces Europe & Africa calls on COS

10 March 2016. A Nine US Marine Forces Europe & Africa delegation called on the Chief of Staff (COS) Brig Gen Sampson K Adeti at his office, Burma Camp on Friday 10 March, 2016.

The visit of the team was part of their familiarization tour to GAF and to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two Forces.

The leader of the delegation, Deputy Commander of the US Marine Forces Europe Africa Col James Donnellan briefed the COS on activities of the US Marine Forces that were ongoing in Europe and in Africa.

Col Donnellan commended AFRICOM for the great job they were doing in Africa by providing less conflicting and beneficial support to move capacities forward. He promised to provide assistance to GAF to help build up its operations to enable both Forces work hand-in-hand.

Some of the services they undertake include working on security operations issues, funding events, humanitarian works, training the trainer, engineering and logistics support  to peace keeping operations and  Infantry training. They also have Respond Forces to security issues, physical training and many more.

The Chief of Staff welcomed them and run the delegation through GAF’s engagements and challenges. Some of which included logistics for Peace keeping, running of a Fundamental and Specialist Leadership training programmes, for Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), logistics to assist GAF and the Ghana Police to counter terrorism and training and provision of logistics for Intelligence programming aspect.

He further said that there would be an establishment for policy direction for command and control of Intelligence, provision of communication gadgets to be able to transmit information for evaluating threat information.

The US Marine Forces Europe and Africa delegation also visited the Chief of Naval staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo. Col James Donnellan in a statement said the US Marine was willing to increase involvement in helping Ghana train more Special Forces.

Rear Admiral Faidoo said the Ghana Navy would collaborate with the US Marine.  He also said that the Ghana Navy had better communication with its neighbours Togo, Ivory Coast, Benin and Nigeria which would help sustain peace amongst them.

The CNS also said the Navy would need more training in opposed boarding and hopes the US Marine would cope accordingly.

Africa Branch Chief of the US Marine Lt Col Adam Lefringhouse congratulated the Ghana Navy on how it uses its resources at its disposal and further stated that if the Ghana Navy was given more resources, it would perform it duties better.

The nine member led delegation of the US Marine visited the Army Headquarters and was welcomed by the Chief Staff Officer (CSO) Brig Gen Alhassan Abu.

Political Advisor of the US Marine Mr Glenn Fedzer said the US Marine would help train the Ghana Armed Forces in Special Forces but stressed on how the Ghana Armed Forces would retain the knowledge and skills impacted to them and later transfer them to their fellows.

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