Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Ghana Armed Forces
Avian Influenza Surveillance Exercise Launched at Burma Camp

13 September 2013. The Veterinary and Public Health Division of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in collaboration with the United States Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3) and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has launched an Avian Influenza Surveillance Exercise on Friday 13 September, 2013 at Burma Camp. 

The two-week exercise would be held in all garrisons from 13-27 September 2013 to educate troops and school children on the hazards of the virus, ways of prevention as well as handling infected persons.

The Director General Medical Services, Col Mahama Alhassan in his introductory remarks said though the virus was originally confined to birds, it had the potential to mutate if unchecked. Consequently, it was imperative to check the health threat.

He added that cases relating to the outbreak of the virus near various military barracks such as 1 Bn in Tema, 3Bn in Sunyani and 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho have raised a lot of concerns to the GAF. “The proximity of this outbreak to military installations put into sharp focus the reality of this virus virtually being carried into our camps with disastrous consequence”, he lamented.

Representative of NAMRU-3, Lt Cdr Nehkonti Adams in her presentation said military personnel are at a higher risk of contracting the virus since they travel frequently. According to her, the virus had killed about 43,000 people in Europe in 1918 while about 20-40 million soldiers mobilized for World War 1 also died through influenza.

She therefore urged troops to exhibit good personal hygiene and frequent hand washing exercise to help check the virus.

Col Alhassan on the other hand urged school children who formed majority of participants to educate their peers on the surveillance of the Avian Influenza.

Reconstituted 37 Military Hospital Board Inaugurated

5 September 2013. The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie has inaugurated the Reconstituted Board for the 37 Military Hospital on Thursday 5 September, 2013.

The eight-member Board chaired by Rear Admiral GM Biekro, the Chief of Naval Staff, comprises: Air Cdre Pumpuni (rtd), Brig Gen MI Tetteh, Acting Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Col RK Ametepi, Acting Commander of the 37 Military Hospital, the Acting Director General, Medical Services, Col Mohammed Alhassah and Col Vida Otoo, Director of Nursing at the Hospital. The other members are Dr Ahmed Kofi, Chief Health Consultant at the 37 Military Hospital and Ms Marigold Korri, Director of Pharmacy at the Hospital.

The CDS who was the past Board Chairman of the Hospital in his address stated that the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Service was a very essential Arm of the Service because the health of troops and their families greatly depended on the overall performance of the Medical Corps.

He added that the 37 Military Hospital was the referral centre of the GAF Medical Services with seven Medical Reception Stations and Medical Centres to offer first line medical support to the numerous service personnel and their families deployed in all the regions as well as some civilians in the catchment areas.

Vice Admiral Quashie also enumerated some of the challenges facing the Hospital, which he said attracted persistent complaints of poor service delivery at the Hospital from both retired and serving personnel. The CDS explained that it was due to these challenges that the Board was constituted to study the problems thoroughly and make recommendations for revamping the Hospital.

The CDS commended the past board members for completing their mandate successfully irrespective of the daunting challenges.

The current Board Chairman, Rear Admiral Biekro in his remarks thanked the CDS and his team for their immense and invaluable service to the Hospital. 

The chairman challenged the board members to look ahead to maintain and build upon a positive momentum with confidence for the success of the Hospital.

CDS Visits Units under Southern Command

4 September 2013. The Chief of the Defence staff, Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie has paid a working visit to some selected Units under Southern Command from Tuesday 3 to Wednesday 4 September 2013.  The purpose of the visit was to gain first hand information on challenges facing Units and explore possible ways of solving them.

On his arrival at 5Bn, he was welcomed by the Commander Rear, Major Samuel Sena Lorkpa after which he inspected a Quarter Guard mounted in his honour. The CDS was given a detailed briefing on security measures being undertaken to ensure peace and security in the Greater Accra Region. Later, he and his entourage inspected some ongoing projects such as underground fuel station and a fenced wall.

The next point of call was the Recce Regiment where he was briefed on the challenges faced in maintaining facilities and equipment of the Regiment.

At 64 Infantry Regiment, the CDS was welcomed by the Commanding Officer Lt Col Nicholas Paintsil, who disclosed that the Unit intended to increase the strength of personnel in the Central Region in order to beef up security in the Region.  The CDS inspected some initiatives such as an accommodation facility for young soldiers and a block factory which was built by the Unit.

Vice Admiral Quashie expressed appreciation to the personnel of the Unit for the effort made to venture into the supply of blocks to soldiers at lower prices.  He encouraged them to continue the good work.

The next phase of the visit was at the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC), where he was welcomed by Major Gen OB Akwa, Commandant of the Center.  In his remarks, the CDS commended the Commandant and staff for running the institution to attain global recognition. “It is time we look forward to rebrand and market KAIPTC to the international community” he noted.

Upon completion of his visit to KAIPTC, the CDS continued to the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff Collage (GAFCSC).  The Acting Commandant, Brig Gen MI Tetteh briefed the CDS on matters pertaining to the Collage.

His visit ended at the Military Academy and Training School (MATS) where he was welcomed by Rear Admiral EA Bonsu Commandant MATS.  He inspected a new Officers’ Mess under construction after which discussions were held on challenges facing MATS.

CDS assured all the Units he visited that he would continue to build upon what his predecessors had done and work harder to attain greater results for the Ghana Armed Forces.

Vice Admiral Quashie also assured personnel of his commitment to ensuring that challenges such as lack of accommodation, inadequate supply of water, broken down sewage systems and other health and environmental hazard at the Units were addressed.

A 50 Year-Old Imposter Arrested by GMP

11 September 2013. A 50 year-old man, Mr Asare Darko, was arrested in Burma Camp on Wednesday 11 September 2013, for posing as a Retired Colonel of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Mr Darko who lives at Kordzor, a suburb of Teshie, was arrested by Military Police when he attempted to gain favours while seeking admission for his ward at the 5 Garrison Education Centre.

According to the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Ghana Military Police (GMP), Lt Col Seth Agordekpe, Mr Darko’s claim to be a retired Colonel and a mate to a serving officer of the rank of Lt Colonel raised suspicions.

Accordingly he was being monitored when he departed the office of the Director of the 5 Garrison Education Centre, leaving behind his two mobile phones.  Upon his return to pick up his phones, he was arrested and handed over to the Cantonments Police.

In a related incident, one Daniel Azameti, a brother of a dismissed soldier, has been nabbed by the GMP for also posing as a soldier on Monday 9 September at Spintex Road.

The suspect is reported to have attempted to extort an amount of Two Thousand Ghana cedis (GHȻ2,000) from a brother of one Staff Sergeant Emmanuel Ampaabeng of Southern Command while pretending to be assisting him to be recruited into the Ghana Armed Forces.

The victim then reported the incident to his brother and they arranged for the suspect to collect the money at a Bank on the Spintex Road. They met the suspect wearing military uniform and immediately caused his arrest and subsequently GMP handed him over to the Cantonments Police for further investigations. 

Parliamentary Select Committee for Defence and Interior Visit 6 Garrison

3 September 2013. The Parliamentary Select Committee for Defence and Interior has paid a working visit to the 6 Garrison on Monday, 3 September 2013 at Tamale.

The eleven-member delegation was led by the Committee’s Chairman, Hon George Kofi Arthur, MP for Amenfi Central. In his brief remarks at the Air Force Officer’s Mess, the Chairman of the Committee said the visit was to acquaint themselves with security issues in the region, find out challenges affecting the Garrison and also provide possible solutions.

He said their role as a Committee was to determine and advocate for the needs and requirements of the Garrison and make recommendations for Parliament to improve their working conditions.

The 6 Garrison Commander, Air Cdre Philip Ayisa briefed members of the Committee.  He said the Garrison supports the Civil Police in Operations Gongong, Sit-Down-Look and Calm Life in order to provide an enabling environment for development.  “Operation Ahodwo, which was to ensure peace and security of life and property before, during and after the announcement of the Supreme Court Election Petition verdict was successful without any major incidents’’,  he added.

He assured the committee that the Garrison will remain vigilant and firm to ensure that peace and security is sustained in the three northern regions of Ghana.  He however outlined some challenges the Garrison was facing and appealed to the Committee to help address them.

The Committee later paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Hon Bede Ziedeng at his office in Tamale.  Hon Ziedeng mentioned that the 6 Garrison was faced with a number of challenges including accommodation and appealed to the Committee to use their influences to address them.

He informed the Committee members that the three regions have been relatively calm and applauded the security agencies in the region for their professionalism and dedication to duty.

As part of the visits the delegation visited 6Bn, ABF and also inspected some ongoing projects. 

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