Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Ghana Armed Forces
Renew your commitment to the pursuit of peace- Lt Gen Smith

August 2012.     The Minister for Defence, Lt Gen Joseph Henry Smith (rtd), has called on Muslims to renew their commitment to the pursuit of internal and world peace and preach unity and forgiveness which were the spirit of Eid. He said these were important messages now and will remain so long into the future.

The Minster said this in a message read on his behalf by the Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Lt Col Umar Sanda Ahmed, during the 2012 Eid-ul- fitr celebration at the Al-Aziz Central Mosque in Burma Camp on Sunday 19 August 2012.

The Minister urged the congregation to be committed to the virtues of loyalty, professionalism, self-discipline and steadfastness to serve as a beacon of hope to the country.

He noted, “the spiritual revival you have attained must imbue in you a genuine virtue of effective devotion, honest dedication and closeness to Allah throughout your future endeavours. Give practical demonstration of these virtues in your family life and civic responsibilities, as well as your professional careers”.

The Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, in his message exhorted the congregation to extol the same values of resilience, tenacity and patience that were part of the range of values the professional GAF sought to inculcate in all serving officers, men and women. 

He told them that it was only by demonstrating love and understanding for each other and the nation that they would have allowed their spiritual angle to impact on their mundane life as they persevered through this all-important religious observance. 

The Chief Imam of GAF, Lt Col Umar Sanda Ahmed, in his sermon made a passionate appeal to the congregation and the youth especially, to eschew violence and desist from making themselves tools to political violence as the nation prepared for the December polls.

He said, “as we inch towards elections in December, there is the greater need for all of us as Muslims, Christians and other faith believers to appreciate the real importance of peace not only for electoral purposes but also for daily interactions”.

He asked that patience coupled with a feeling for the poor anchored in creating an environment for peaceful co-existence should be a hallmark of every Muslim even after the Ramadan, adding that the Ramadan lesson of tolerance would only remain relevant if Muslims played their part as Ghanaian Muslims to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process and survival of the nation.

He concluded with a prayer for the family of the late Commander-in-Chief, Prof JEA Mills, saying that his legacy of peaceful co-existence was in tandem with the Islam scriptural injunction and it was his hope that the entire country would hold on to the rope of national unity by being each-others keeper.

The Chief Imam was also hopeful the sense of public service of the late President which was epitomised in humility and honesty would be a beacon to upcoming generations.

Volta Regional Minister lauds security services

24 August 2012.     The Volta Regional Minister, Honourable Henry Ford Karmal, has lauded efforts of the security services in the region especially during the recent impasse between Muslims and non-Muslim native youth of the Hohoe township.

Honourable Karmal who was speaking as the guest of honour at the 7 Garrison’s turn of Exercise Bridget (Ex Bridget), acknowledged the good conduct and the professional manner with which the security services handled the situation and helped to retain peace in the district.

He noted that Ex Bridget was a very significant programme with its purpose of bringing the security services in the Volta Region together to deliberate on security issues and work as a team to see to the sustenance of peace in the country.

The Minister urged commands of the 66 Artillery Regiment and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to come out with more of such programmes which would bring the security services and the civil public together to interact.

He recounted several instances where he received guidance and counseling from the security services on the different ways of handling issues that bothered on security in the region.

The Director General of Joint Operations and Plans, Brig Gen Daniel K Mishio informed the gathering the preparation the military high command was putting in place to make the 2012 general elections a success.

He said there were acquisition of new vehicles fitted with communication gadgets among others to facilitate good communication among troops who would be deplored to the region to help in the electoral process.

The various heads of the security agencies within the region also took turns to outline their plans and preparations towards the same course.

This years’ Ex Bridget was as part of activities in preparation towards the up-coming general elections in December.

The exercise saw participants drawn from the various sister security agencies within the Volta Region beside officers and men from 66 Artillery Regiment. There were participants from the Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Service.

Prior to the games, the Deputy Volta Regional Director of Electoral Commission, Mr Selormey Dogbey Adukpo, took the personnel through the role of the security services in the general elections. He said the security services would be expected to protect the ballot boxes, ballot papers, and other election materials and also maintain law and order during voting and collation of ballots among others.

He urged them to seek clearance when the need arose from the appropriate quarters to clear all doubts and also when they were confronted with challenges.

Other personalities at the event were the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, Cdre Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, Brig Gen Matthew K Ahiaglo, Director General Training, Cdre Stephen K Darbo and the Forces Sergeant Major, CWO D Adu-Yaw.


Muslims of 3 Garrison celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr

19 August 2012.   Muslims of 3 Garrison, Sunyani, on Sunday 19 August 2012, joined their fellow Muslims in the country and the World to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of their 30 days fasting in the Lunar month of Ramadan at the 3 Garrison Mosque.

In his sermon, the acting Imam of the Garrison, Imam Issah Ibrahim, outlined the benefits of fasting to the congregation. He mentioned that fasting did not only mean abstaining from food, drinks, and sexual activities during the Ramadan period but also served as a period when all Muslims were expected to stay away from ungodly acts.

The Imam stressed that fasting helped the individual to attain physical strength and the power of self-control to apply in his everyday life to bring about self improvement.

He advised the congregation to take lessons from the fasting period seriously and not go back to acts that would destroy the piety attained.

The Imam added that the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration was, among other things, to reward those Muslims who had fasted throughout the stipulated period and also prayed in the night of the last ten days of Ramadan as Allah Himself was going to reward them on that great day on the Islamic Calendar.

The Imam ended his sermon by leading the congregation which was made up of soldiers and their families and Muslims from the surrounding communities through prayers for the Garrison Commander, the Ghana Armed Forces and for the country to remain peaceful especially before, during and after the upcoming general elections.


Garrison Methodist/Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship Celebrate 50th Anniversary

26 August 2012.    The Women’s Fellowship of the Garrison Methodist/Presbyterian Church (GMPC), Burma Camp, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Sunday 26 August 2012, on the theme “The holy spirit and the believer, harnessing diverse gifts for mission”.

The GMPC Women’s Fellowship started in 1958 as a small group of women who held meetings to study the word of God until 1962 when it was officially inaugurated under the name Garrison Methodist/Presbyterian Church Women’s Fellowship, with eleven members.

After the inauguration, the fellowship was affiliated to the National Methodist and Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship which ushered in healthy interactions with other sister fellowships and gave on regular basis useful materials, instructions and teachings.

Delivering the sermon as the guest preacher, the Director of the Presbyterian Women’s Centre at Abokobi, Rev Esther Adjetey, urged the women to do away with the spirit of apathy and devote themselves to take up responsibilities in various positions and serve the group.

She indicated that God in his wisdom created women in a special way and has endowed them with special gifts which they had to utilise and make good use of to enhance their being.

Rev Esther Adjetey added that for a group of women from diverse backgrounds to be together in a fellowship and chalk 50 years was no mean achievement. She reiterated that 50 years was a year of jubilee freedom, forgiveness and peace, therefore, the fellowship must move ahead beyond its jubilee and grow from strength to strength.

In a goodwill message, the Snr Chaplain of the GMPC, Rev Col David Adoteye-Asare (rtd) said just as the history of Christianity was incomplete without mentioning Mary Magdalene, so was the history of GMPC not complete  without the women’s fellowship.

He said at 50, the women’s fellowship was one of the oldest groups in the church and had stayed on course till now. Rev Col Adoteye-Asare however prayed that God should lead and empower the fellowship till thy kingdom come.

New executives were inducted to lead the fellowship for the years 2012 to 2016. Sisters Margaret Opoku and Rosemond Larbi Okyere were made President and Vice President respectively.  


Tribute to the memory of the late President and C-in-C, Prof JEA Mills by GAF

It is with deep sorrow that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) pay this tribute to the memory of His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills, late President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of GAF.

The Ghana Armed Forces has really lost a great leader and a benefactor. On assumption of office, the late President demonstrated a great commitment to empower the security services to play their constitutionally mandated roles effectively in the pursuit of national security, regional peaceful co-existence and international security integration. In this respect, he encouraged the progressive training and equipment of the Armed Forces.

His personal demeanor inured to the widening and strengthening of the scope of training and interaction between GAF and several friendly Armed Forces’ the World over. Under his watch, GAF experienced rejuvenation in all aspects of our operations. His leadership style demonstrated that, whether leading or following, every position needed each other for a fuller realisation of assigned tasks.

The late President ensured a massive infusion of resources into the Armed Forces as well as the opportunity for effective restructuring. GAF is grateful to the late President for his role in ensuring the welfare of troops when it came to participation in peacekeeping operations. Of particular note was his drive for the acquisition of Armoured Personnel Carriers for troops in all peacekeeping operations in which Ghana participates.

Modern communication facilities have also been installed in Ghana’s peacekeeping missions. All these have boosted troop protection and professionalism of Ghanaian troops in peace support operations to the admiration of the international community and projection of Ghana’s international image. Work has also commenced for the construction of flats and accommodation for both officers and men of GAF.

The late President demonstrated great vision and a deep insight into maritime strategy anchored on a formidable and professional maritime force that can guarantee secured sea lines of communication for socio-economic development. In this vein, he acquired patrol boats, and attack for the Ghana Navy. Indeed, to support the maintenance of the Naval Fleet, he completed the Slipway for the Naval Dockyard in Sekondi which is due for commissioning this August 2012.

His Excellency the late Professor JEA Mills ascended to the Presidency when the air and ground platforms of the Ghana Air Force had virtually exceeded their effective employment capacity. The main work horses, the Fokkers, were over 38 years old and needed urgent replacement; the other aircrafts on inventory had also been grounded. This posed a serious threat to developmental efforts and to national security. The visionary that he was, HE Prof Mills rolled out an ambitious plan to re-equip and modernize the Air Force. In October 2010, the government procured the Falcon Executive Jet to complement the Fokker 28 aircraft which had obviously reached the end of its tether due to old age and other crippling limitations.

To boost the operational and strategic aircraft capability of the Air Force, he tasked the Air Force Command to look for suitable platforms.  After a strenuous and diligent search, two CASA 295 medium lift aircraft were purchased and commissioned on 19 December 2011 and 14 May 2012 respectively.  These were deployed for troop transport and para-dropping.  It is instructive to note that he made sure that these aircraft were supported with a plethora of ground support equipment including buses, pick-pus, fire tenders and bowsers. 

Other acquisitions included Maritime Patrol and Surveillance aircraft. Also some helicopters which are due to be delivered before November 2012 to help in both internal and external operations.  He also initiated the acquisition of one Embraer troop carrier aircraft. Substantial infrastructural development took place under the watch of the late president.  Principal among them were the construction of two ultra-modern hangars with offices at Air Force Base, Takoradi, one state-of the art maintenance and storage depot at Air Force Base, Accra.  It is to be noted that plans were far advanced for His Excellency, the late Prof Mills, to commission these projects in August and October 2012 respectively.

We wish also to acknowledge the support the late President gave to our training institutions.  It would require a lot of space to capture the total effort to upgrade these institutions.  It is however crucial to mention the following significant infusions: the construction of the Academic Block Complex at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) has facilitated the expansion of the academic programmes of the college and given added impetus to human resource training for middle to senior level manpower of GAF, thereby equipping them for multi-functional roles within the Armed Forces and beyond. 

For the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), the international stature of the late President was instrumental in securing new partnerships within the international community.  During his tenure as C-in-C, KAIPTC has made tremendous progress both in terms of structures and output and the acquisition of accreditation as a tertiary institution of high repute which attracts patronage across the globe.  The Military Academy and Training Schools, (MATS) also saw the construction of a monumental jubilee block under his watch.  The ongoing renovation/improvement in the training support facilities of all the basic training institutions in the three (3) Service are part of his re-equipment programme of GAF training institution.

His Excellency the late Professor Mills, then C-in-C of GAF, believed that a leader must pay greater attention to the things that set him out as a person worthy of the people’s trust.  He threw his full weight behind the joint military/police operations intended to reduce armed robbery and related crimes to the barest minimum in the bid to ensure that Ghanaians could go about their business without fear or intimidation.  The Ghana Armed Forces will forever cherish him for his demonstrated passion for the welfare and morale of all ranks during his tenure as C-in-C.

May the soul of the late Commander-In-Chief rest in perpetual peace.


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