Saturday, May 28, 2016
Ghana Armed Forces
Defence Minister’s maiden visit to Headquarters, Southern Command

9 April 2013. The Minister of Defence, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, has paid tribute to the Southern Command and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as a whole for working relentlessly to ensure that Ghana remained the beacon of Hope of Africa.

He commended GAF for not allowing itself to be misused and for displaying high professionalism as far as peace in the country was concerned.

The Minister made these assertions during his maiden visit to the Headquarters Southern Command of the Ghana Army at Kpeshie in Accra on Tuesday, 9 April 2013.

Mr Woyongo noted that Ghana had enjoyed peace since she embraced democratic rule and as a result had been touted as a peaceful country. He said the government was appreciative of the good role that GAF was playing to ensure that the people of Ghana continued to enjoy peace. He also entreated the Command to ensure that the peace and security in its area of responsibility.

He assured all that GAF would be well resourced to protect the territorial integrity of the country. He outlined some of the efforts the government had made to retool the Ghana Armed Forces. Amongst them are: vehicles, uniforms, ships for the Navy and aircraft for the Air Force.

Mr Woyongo urged personnel of the Command to be dedicated, work hard and prepare for any eventuality in the face of terrorist and fundamentalists in neighbouring Mali due to Ghana’s participation in the campaign against Islamic extremists. This, he said posed a lot of threat to the nation.

He stressed that government was aware of the efforts GAF was making in the area of control of pollution, illegal lumbering, cross border crimes and illegal mining. He therefore urged the Command in particular and GAF in general to cooperate with other security agencies, particularly the police, to ensure peace in the country.

He however urged troops to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties, especially, utterances in the media; adding that, they should not over react to such unguarded utterances. He stated that, he was working with the Commander-In-Chief and the Ministry of Finance to solve the problems that GAF was faced with, such as accommodation, transport and manpower.

He announced that plans were underway to ensure that all military lands were demarcated and properly acquired to stop the encroachment of military lands. He emphasised that he would give all his support to GAF in the discharge of its roles and all he needed in return was loyalty, hard work and dedication to ensure that GAF remained the best in the Sub- region. 

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) Southern Command, Brigadier General Martin Koku Gameli Ahiaglo, welcomed the Minister and his entourage to the Command and congratulated him on his appointment as Defence Minister. He pledged that Southern Command, which handled five regions in Ghana, would, continue to be highly professional, disciplined and poised for action to ensure peace in the country. 

The Command Operations Officer (COO), Lt Col Jacob Kpierele, briefed the Minister about the Command’s vision, role, internal and external operations and threats, training, administration and logistics. He also outlined the achievements of the Command over the period. He noted that annual exercises were being conducted by the Command, which included Exercise Tigers Path, Land Combat Power Demonstration, and Armed Forces shooting competition.

The Minister inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by troops of the Command. The Minister was accompanied by the Chief Director and other senior officers from the Defence Ministry.

Lt Gen Blay Grounds Arms

5 April 2013. The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, has finally bid farewell to the Ghana Armed Forces after 43 years of service to the GAF and the nation. During a pulling out parade organised in his honour on Friday, 5 April 2013 at Burma Camp, he urged personnel to continue to uphold the current status of the GAF as one of the finest on the African continent.

Delivering his farewell message, Lt Gen Blay noted the need for GAF to remain the surest guarantor of sovereignty, peace and stability to Ghana and to other sister countries in the increasingly dangerous and complex risk and territorial threats.  He said collaboration, coordination and co-operation with the civil police and sister security agencies, domestically, regionally and internationally are critical in dealing effectively with these threats.

He reiterated the need to deepen and strengthen the GAF’s participation in wider peace support operations under the auspices of the United Nations.

“If we do these things, coupled with constant scanning of our environment and the global environment, and put in place the appropriate structures and plans, backed by the requisite training, we should be able to stay ahead of any emergent threat and risks; and continue to assist to provide the needed peace, stability and security for the accelerated development of the country,” he said.

In addition, the out-going CDS urged personnel to be steadfast and resolute in the constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ghana by land, sea, and air.

He accordingly noted that these could only materialise through the investment of quality leadership with essential confidence, support, cooperation, loyalty and commitment.  He lauded the efforts of the newly appointed Chiefs of Defence Staff, Army Staff and the Naval Staff for their display of competence, loyalty and unflinching support while he was in office.

Lt Gen Blay earlier expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, and the government for giving him the opportunity to serve at the highest level of the Armed Forces. He was also appreciative of the moral and material support and professional advice he received from the President throughout the period of his service.

CDS meets Commandants and Directors General

3 April 2013. The former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, has expressed his appreciation to the Commandants and Directors General (DG) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for their support during his tenure of office.

Speaking at the last meeting the with these Senior Officers at the GHQ Conference Hall on Wednesday 3 April 2013, the outgoing CDS noted that his success and achievements could be linked to the dedication, competence, hard work and above all, loyalty exhibited by the team. He urged them to extend the same attributes to the incoming CDS for the betterment of the GAF and Ghana in general.

On behalf of the Senior Officers, the former Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, said they were highly appreciative of the remarkable service of the CDS to GAF.

He said that the achievements of Lt Gen Blay’s leadership, some of which include:  the creation of the Provident Fund, establishment of the Pension House, and the Armed Forces Bank, which is in the pipeline, would enable military personnel to live a more comfortable life after retirement.

Lt Gen Blay later presented each Senior Officer with a citation plaque in appreciation of their good work and support.

Rear Admiral Biekro hands over to Brig Gen Adams

4 April 2013. The former Chief of Staff (COS) at the General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro on Thursday 4 April 2013 handed over the Staff of Office of his former appointment to Brig Gen Seidu Mumuni Adams, the Military Secretary at the General Headquarters. Brig Gen Adams would act until a substantive Chief of Staff is appointed.

At the handing over ceremony in the Chief of Staff’s office, Rear Admiral Biekro expressed his profound gratitude to the Staff Officers and the entire staff of the General Headquarters for their loyalty, professionalism and dedication to duty. “I sincerely appreciate every single effort you made to ensure the successful running of this office,” he said.

He presented citation plaques, which he said was a symbol of appreciation, gratitude and a memento to all the Staff Officers.

Brig Gen Adams promised to continue from where his predecessor left.

Col Nick Peter Andoh, Assistant Chief of Staff, on behalf of the staff, thanked Rear Admiral Biekro for creating an enabling environment for them to work in.

Health Minister commends Military Hospital for containing pressure caused by doctors' strike

9 April 2013. The Minister of Health, Madam Sherry Ayittey has paid glowing tribute to the staff of the 37 Military Hospital for their ability to contain the mounting pressure and huge influx of patients to the hospital due to the industrial strike by Doctors and Pharmacists in the country.

Consequently, she has assured the staff that the Ministry of Health would support the 37 Military Hospital with additional beds and drugs to ease the pressure on the hospital.

Madam Ayittey was speaking during a visit to the Hospital on Tuesday 9 April 2013, to assess how the hospital was coping with the influx of patients and health delivery capabilities of the Hospital.

The Honourable Minister thanked the administration and staff of the hospital for their dedication to work and for being there for the nation during such a period.  She assured the public that Military Hospital was fully ready to receive patients, treat and stabilise any condition that was brought there.

Brig Gen Paul Kponyoh, Commander of the Hospital, said measures have been put in place to control the additional pressure that would be mounting on the hospital until the strike action end.

He stated that Doctors and Nurses on leave have been recalled while all the Staff were working longer hours. “Additionally, cases which are not too critical are treated and discharged to make room for the critical ones,” he said.

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