Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Air Force Commissions Group Captain Jones-Mensah Lodge

19 June 2015. The Ghana Air Force on Friday, 19 June 2015 commissioned the Group Captain Jones-Mensah Lodge, a 19 room apartment at Home Touch junction near the Air Force Officers Mess, Accra.

The Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie noted the population of the Ghana Air Force had risen and has affected the already existing accommodation problem and thus the need for the facility.

He revealed, the project which commenced in 2012 was funded by the Ghana Oil company, and other private institution such as Sonitra, Ghacem and Power fast Electricals as well as some personal friends of the Chief of Air Staff.

The CDS advised the would-be occupants to take good care and maintain the facility very well to serve its purpose.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall Michael Samson-Oje appreciated all who contributed to the realisation of the project. He called it a small solution to the bigger problems facing the Ghana Air Force but looked forward to climbing greater heights in finding solutions to the accommodation and other welfare issues.

The apartment block would serve as a place of residence for young Officers. The self contained rooms have facilities such as, hall, bedroom, washroom and a kitchenette.

In a related development, an ultra-modern Matambo was also commissioned at the Air Force Officers Mess for recreational purposes for officers and patrons of the Mess.

Group Captain Albert Kwamena Jones-Mensah the senior officer after whom the 19-room Lodge was named, commissioned into the Ghana Air Force on 21 May 1966. He went through all his professional courses and held various appointments in the Ghana Air Force from Air Traffic Control Officer till his last appointment as the Chief Staff Officer at the Air Force Headquarters. He was honourably released in January 1998 after 32 years of meritorious service with the Colours.

Regular Course Intake 56 Reports at GMA

18 June 2015. Sixty-three (63) cadets for Regular Course Intake 56 on Thursday, 18  June, 2015 have reported at the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) Cadets’ Mess to officially commence a fifteen (15)-month-military career training.

There were 63 cadets including 32 for the Army, 14 for the Air Force and 17 for the Navy. There were also 10 other cadets from the ECOWAS countries, Senegal, Togo, Benin and Burkina-Faso.

However, the course is divided into two parts. These are the Standard Military Course (SMC) which is for a period of four (4) months and the Regular Career Course covering a period of eleven (11) months. The course is therefore tri-service during the SMC phase, after which the Army, Navy and the Air Force cadets continue with their respective special service training.

The training will also include two weeks of jungle training at the Jungle Welfare School at Achiase in the Eastern region. All graduating cadets are granted Regular Commission into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

Ghana Inks Agreement with Brazilian Firm for Acquisition of 5 Jets

18 June 2015. Ghana has signed an agreement with Brazil’s jet manufacturer, Embraer Defense and Security Company, to provide Ghana with five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircrafts for the Ghana Air Force Training School, which includes training for pilots and mechanics in Ghana.

The aircrafts being purchased at the cost of $88million, with a loan from the Brazilian Development Bank will also include logistical support for the operation of the aircrafts.

The purchase of the Super Tucano aircrafts replaces the contract for the purchase of the 90-seater Embraer 190 Aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) approved by Parliament in 2011.

The Minister for Defence, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, signed for the government, while a representative of the Embraer Defence and Security, Mr Frederico Lenos signed on behalf of the manufacturers during a brief ceremony at the Ministry of Defence (The Square) on Thursday June 18, 2015.

He said students of the Ghana Air Force were trained outside the country because the aircrafts to be used had become unserviceable. Therefore authorities found the Super Tucano aircraft more appropriate and economical, he continued.

Dr Kunbuor added that the A-29 Super Tucanos would be deployed for advanced training, border surveillance and internal security missions.

Mr Lenos in his remarks indicated that, hopefully the first aircraft would be ready in the next 14 months.

According to him, the airplane has “a robust, powerful and versatile turboprop aircraft” with proven experiences as well as capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, including close air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

He said with more than 130 weapons configurations certified, among other advance technologies “this makes the A-29 Super Tucanos highly reliable and allows an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runaways and in hostile environments”.

Technical Committee tasked to Review GAF UN Peace Support Operations Submits its Report

18 June 2015. The ten-member technical committee inaugurated by the Minister for Defence on 26 January 2015 tasked to examine and review the existing procedures and practices of the Ghana Armed Forces in Peace Support Operations (PSOs) and make recommendations for effective PSOs delivery, on Thursday June 18, 2015 submitted its report to the Defence Minister, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor.

Submitting the report at the Ministry of Defence (The Square), the Chairman of the committee, Brig Gen Kwame Oppong-Otchere in his remarks said, the committee was able to complete its work through regular meetings and interactions as well as submissions and presentations by relevant stakeholders both military and civilians.

“Visits were conducted to selected mission areas to assess the situation on ground; and also Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York to capture how the management of GAF PSOs is viewed from the top”, he added.

“A major constraint observed, was the delays in budgetary release to meet demands on time. This unfortunate situation which most instances goes beyond GAF’s capability was seen to be a major driver of almost all the challenges facing the sound management of GAF PSOs”, he observed.

Some other observations had to do with the lack of proper orientation for diplomats in the Permanent Mission and their military counterparts in PSO-related engagements.

He also identified administrative bottlenecks in acquiring Parliamentary approval for clearance or permits for major PSO equipment at the port as another challenge.

The committee did not rest on its oars but with uncompromising commitment and dedication probed further to find solutions to the various challenges of the armed forces in PSOs.

He said the committee had captured some recommendations that would to a large extent address the challenges confronting the smooth management of GAF PSO and strongly advised that the recommendations in the report should be carefully considered and implemented to its logical conclusion to enable Ghana and GAF achieve maximum gains from PSO’s.

He proposed the setting up of another body to be responsible for the implementation of the recommendations of the report.

The Minister for Defence expressed his gratitude to the committee for their hard work. He said he had no doubt that; their report would go down the military’s peacekeeping history not only in Ghana but the whole of Africa.

Dr Kunbuor touted Ghana as one of the first countries to carry out such an exercise since the United Nations Security Council indicated the broad framework within which peacekeeping operations review should be carried out.
According to him, the richness of the report would make it very beneficial to all troop contributing countries. He advised that a copy be made available to all security peacekeeping institutions across the country for research purposes.

The Asutsuare Training Camp Now has a New Gym Complex

17 June 2015. The National Security Coordinator, Mr Yaw Donkor has inaugurated an ultra-modern gym complex at the Asutsuare Training Camp, in the Eastern region on the 17 June 2015.

The Guest of Honour stated that in 2012 whiles he was with the BNI, his office received a letter from the unit soliciting for support to have a gym complex in the training Camp. This, he said, was appropriate and deserved all the necessary support. According to him, many people including him had passed through the camp and as such, it was regrettable that over the years the place could not boast of a well-resourced gym.

He was glad the story is different now and that the BNI contribution has been acknowledged with this befitting and timely achievement.

He said the gym would benefit both the instructors and the trainees; therefore it is incumbent on all to put their bodies and minds in shape at all times because a healthy mind can only be found in a healthy body.

Mr Donkor commended the Commanding Officer, Lt Col Paintsil and his staff including the Project Committee especially, Ex WOI Adjei Adjetey for their commitment, hard work and dedication.

He also expressed his appreciation to the corporate organizations and individuals who sponsored in different ways to make the project a success.

The Commanding Officer, Lt Col Isaac Nicholas Paintsil of the 64 Infantry Regiment in his remarks said the project has been on the drawing board for a long time, but it became inevitable in 2012 when the National Security Secretariat donated some body building machines to the camp. In view of that the unit wrote to its training partners, some sister security agencies, corporate bodies and individuals for their supports.

He was grateful for the positive response by the National Security Secretariat, the BNI who were the major sponsors, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, various corporate bodies and individuals for the assistance and also requested for their continuous support in maintaining the project.

Lt Col Paintsil thanked the Military High Command for the encouragement and sense of direction. He also applauded the officers, men and civilian employees of the unit for their efforts in making the project a reality.

Present at the ceremony were, GOC Sothern Command, Brigadier General SK Adeti, DDG  Defence Intelligence, Col Rogatus Komlaga, GSO1 Operations and Training - MATS Command, Lt Col Frank Tei, Commanding Officer Army Recruit Training - Shai Hills, Lt Col Augustine Asiedu, Commander Adjei-Gyan, Chaplain, Major Yusif Mensah Shamsudiin, Acting Chief Imam, Mr Charles Jage, Assistant Director of Immigration, FSM CWO Dickson Owusu and other Officers and civilians of corporate organisations.

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