Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Ghana Armed Forces
CDS reaffirms GAFs’ commitment to ensuring peaceful elections

CDS addresses the committee27 September 2012.   The Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay has reiterated Ghana Armed Forces’ commitment to ensuring that peace was retained before, during and after the 2012 December polls.

The CDS made this reaffirmation when an eleven-member delegation from the National Peace Council (NPC) called on the Military High Command on Thursday 27 September 2012 at the General Headquarters to discuss GAFs preparedness towards the general elections in December.

He said GAF recognised the role it had to play to support the police to ensure that adequate security was provided for the forthcoming elections, “we have started to train to prepare our troops mentally and psychologically for the role that we have to play. We have also put our equipment in place and even using them to train. We are conscious of the deadline and by December 7 we will be ready to play our role.” 

The CDS ended with a call on all stakeholders both the civil populace and all security apparatus to ensure that they contribute their quota to the success of all this important national event which had placed Ghana on the global watch lately.

Outlining GAFs’ activities in preparation towards the elections, Col Moses Aryee, Director Land Operations, noted that in order to synchronise all planning activities, GAF had been in a series of meeting with the Ghana Police and other stake holders and would also be part of committees that would be set up for the elections.

He said GAF had produced draft operational instructions for the elections and also undertaken nation-wide joint exercises in all garrisons to prepare personnel adequately, adding, “it is intended that GAF, the Police and other security agencies will conduct joint training for personnel at the national, regional and district levels to enhance interoperability and efficiency by the end of October 2012.”

Col Aryee further noted that the operations of GAF for the elections would be conducted in three phases. Phase one, he said had already started and was focusing on activities prior to the elections thus supporting the Ghana Police to provide a secure environment for smooth campaign by all political parties as well as preparing to assist the Electoral Commission to transport and distribute election materials and personnel to all polling stations.

Phase two would consist of deploying personnel close to polling stations and monitoring of events of the election through the Joint Operations Room using surveillance devices, and phase three would be to continue to assist the Police to maintain law and order and intensify patrols and monitor post-election activities.

The chairman of NPC, Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante, urged all institutions, especially the security apparatus in the country to share information with other actors so as to make peace building interventions meaningful and relevant to the national development discourse.

He noted that peace building practice would be enhanced by regular reflections and learning that should border on the professional execution of various mandates as national institutions. “It is for you and me to further interrogate the impact of our actions and inactions, commission and omissions on national development processes.

“Yes, I believe we can do it” says CDS

The CDS (right) interacts with the IGP (left)18 September 2012.  The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay has noted that the security services in the country would do all they can to make the 2012 general elections a success.

“The whole world is looking at us, and asking, will Ghana do it again? Yes, I believe that we can do it, and we will do it again. The National Security Council should bring all stakeholders on board. We will, as usual, participate fully to ensure that we are on top of any situation,” he emphasised. The CDS made this statement when he called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, in his office in Accra, on Tuesday, 18 September, 2012.

According to the CDS, the visit was part of efforts to continuously foster unity and strengthen the cooperation between the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces. It was to reaffirm the close collaboration and joint operations between the two security services. The visit was also to accord the CDS the opportunity to interact as well as discuss security matters with the IGP and also deliberate on the way forward especially in the up-coming general elections.

Touching on the upcoming elections, Lt Gen Blay hinted that, GAF had launched “Operation Peace Trail 2012” which is meant to provide adequate security for the general elections. He noted that information had been sent to various Commanders in the garrisons and training of personnel for the operation was on-going.

On relations between the rank and file of the two institutions, the CDS welcomed the adoption of Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) to guide and direct the conduct of soldiers and police personnel on joint operations. He said the Military was being guided by the document.

“We have been working together for several years now, so there is the need for the Military to support the Police in difficult situations,” he emphasised.

He agreed that there were instances when personnel of the two services on duty did not agree but added that efforts were being put in place to curb the menace and to prevent future clashes. He said, “In spite of all this, there has been a great improvement in our relationship owing to our joint operations and collaboration in sporting and other activities nationwide. We are on the right course.”

The IGP on his part, noted that “Ghana has a track record of peaceful elections for five consecutive times, and we would not allow anything to go amiss. There is, therefore, the need for a closer collaboration between the two security services for the maintenance of peace.”

He reiterated the need to strengthen task forces in the various regions to handle any security situations that may arise.

On recent clashes between the Police and the Military, Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye noted, “If we have been able to collaborate and clamp down on criminals, then, why can’t we do the same with ourselves and be in good terms? We are strong when we are together, therefore, we should be complimenting each other instead of fighting each other.”

He further stated that the Police would always call for the intervention of the Armed Forces when the need arose.

The visit from the CDS was to reciprocate a similar one by the IGP to him earlier.

Both the CDS and IGP acknowledged the fact that such interactions were very necessary and relevant to both institutions in their bid to strengthen the relationship between them. They promised to maintain the initiative into the future and hoped to extend it to other sister security agencies.

The CDS was accompanied on the visit by the Director General Joint Operations, Brig Gen DK Mishio, Director General Personnel Administration, Brig Gen B Saagbul, Brig Gen F Iddrisu and Director Public Relations, Col M Atintande.

Ghana Air Force inaugurates new officers’ rank

A section of officers wearing the new rank ansignia13 September 2012.    The Ghana Air Force has inaugurated new rank insignia for its officers. The inauguration was at the Air Force Officers Mess in Accra on Thursday 13 September 2012.

According to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, who was also the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, the inauguration of the new rank insignia for the Ghana Air Force formed part of efforts to restructure and modernise all aspects of the Ghana Armed Forces.

 “Armed Forces the world over are gradually and systematically changing from their old ways of doing things for the better. Our Armed Forces cannot be left out of the trend,” he noted.

The CDS expressed his excitement at the Air Force joining her sister senior services, the Ghana Army and Navy, by inaugurating her new badges of rank. He commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Michael Sampson Oje, for the measures he had taken to inform the rank and file about the new rank insignia and their equivalent in the Army and Navy.

In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Michael Sampson Oje, noted that the move to change the rank insignia of the service was necessary in order to distinguish the ranks of the Ghana Air Force from those of other paramilitary organisations.

He noted that in July 2010, a board of officers was convened to review certain aspects of the dress regulations in the service and among the terms of reference was a consideration of a change of badges of ranks from the traditional blue braids to gold braids.

Two years on and after a bit of back and forth on the subject, he noted, the board finally came up with these rank insignia for inauguration. CAS added that the change did not only affect the badges of rank but also where they would be worn.

He said that the new rank insignia made specifically for the Service Dress would be worn on the shoulders instead of on the cuff. “The obvious advantage is that, the gentleman officer is easily and promptly identified as such. Hitherto the officer in a service dress could only be identified appropriately after a glance at the end of his or her sleeve,” he added.

He indicated that in instances where the sleeve was covered identification became a problem unless in the case of senior officers with a gorget on the collar, adding, “with this change
therefore, the Ghana Air Force has joined renowned Air Forces like the US Air Force, the Indian, Nigerian and Egyptian Air Forces, among others, whose officers wear their ranks on the shoulders of their service dress.”

He continued that this move would enable the Ghana Air Force to also rub shoulders with her senior sister services, the Ghana Army and Ghana Navy.

Maintain non-partisan posture- C-in-C urges GAF

President Mahama delivers his maiden commission message 14 September, 2012.  His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has urged personnel of GAF to maintain a non-partisan posture in the up-coming elections. He said the neutrality of the Armed Forces and other security agencies would contribute to the sustenance of peace and security in the country.

President Mahama was speaking at his maiden commissioning parade of 108 cadets of Regular Career Course 52 (RCC 52) and Short Service Commission/ Special Duties Course 51 (SSC/SDC 51) at the Ghana Military Academy, Teshie, on 14 September, 2012.

The parade was dedicated to the memory of the Late President John Evans Atta Mills.  The young officer cadets, with their guns inscribed the word “ASOMDWEE” on the ground, which meant peace to assure Ghanaian’s of GAF’s preparedness to ensure peace at all times especially during the forthcoming elections.

President Mahama noted that this year’s elections would mark two decades since the country returned to multiparty democracy. He said that the international community would be watching Ghana with respect to the up-coming elections and stressed the need for the country to prove its democratic maturity to the rest of the world.

He pledged his commitment and that of his government in ensuring that the impending elections were conducted peacefully, calling on GAF to collaborate with other security agencies to ensure a free and fair elections come December.

The C-in-C advised the officer cadet to exhibit political neutrality in their professional work in order to maintain discipline. He said “as new graduands of this Academy, you need to be mindful of the fact that you now have higher and greater responsibility of serving Ghana and Ghanaians.”
He urged them to demonstrate a high level of professionalism at all times especially during their external peacekeeping missions in order to uphold the enviable record carved by GAF in particular and Ghana in general.

The President advised the graduands to be dedicated and committed to selfless service to the country and beyond in order to market themselves and Ghana in their international engagement, and avoid any thing that will tarnish the image of the country.

President Mahama also assured of access to and provision of all necessary resources that will help step up productivity level of GAF. “I am aware that in spite of your good performance exhibited over the years, you have some few challenges and I will do my best to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure and logistics are provided to facilitate your activities.” 

He urged the cadet to regularly acquaint themselves with modern trends in technology as that could help them to brace up against the advance technological crime wave that had bedeviled the entire world the president call for effective collaboration amongst the security agencies to ensure perpetual peace and security, and create a congenial atmosphere for free and fair election come December this year.

In a message to the graduating cadets, the Commandant of the Military Academy and training School, Rear Admiral Muniru Mohammed Tahiru, asked them to let the training they had gone through put them on the right balance to unable them carry out their duties confidently, effectively and efficiently.

“This year will witness another presidential and parliamentary election in the country and most of you will find yourselves being deployed to operate help sustain our democratic governance.  I will urge you all, that as you operate you must do so bearing in mind the ethics of the military profession and at all times remain loyal to the government and good people of Ghana.

He reiterated the need for the cadets to improve on the skills and knowledge acquired to enable them grasp and also be abreast of issues, progress and limitations within the military. He asked them to always remember their alma Mater that has moulded and shaped them into officers, saying, “…..remember the honour code of the Academy, the safety, honour and welfare of your country come first and always and every time the welfare and comfort of the men you command come next your own ease, comfort and safety come last always and every time.”

 President Mahama in a Group photograph with the graduands and other dignitaries
Awards were given to Cadets who distinguished themselves in the course of training. Senior Under Officer Bonsu Osei Kwame picked the Sword of Honour. The award was a symbol of exemplary leadership qualities and given to the overall best Cadet all round in the Regular Career Course.

He also received the Chief of Army Staff Award and Leadership prize award, the Chief of Naval Staff Award went to Junior under Officer Kyei-Amponsah Ruth whilst that of the Chief of the Air Staff went to Air Force Cadet Nyanor-Berko Emmanuel, who also won the Airforce Academic Award.

Among the graduands this year were two Beninios. The graduands were taken through 15 months (RCC 52) and 6 months (SSC/SDC 51) of vigorous military training respectfully.

Ghana Air Force commemorates its 50th anniversary

CDS decorates CAS with the golden jubilee medal13 September 2012.      In commemoration of her 50th anniversary celebration, the Ghana Air Force on Thursday 13 September 2012, presented medals to all personnel who were in active service in 2009 when the service celebrated its anniversary.

The presentation of the medals coincided with the inauguration of the new rank insignia of the service at the Air Force Officers Mess in Accra.

According to the Chief of the Defence Staff, (CDS), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, who was also the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, 50 years in the life of any entity, was no mean achievement.

“It is gratifying, therefore, that the Air Force has held unto its own all this while. The presentation of the Golden Jubilee commemorative medals…….. should therefore be seen as icing on the cake,” he noted.

He commended the level of recognition given to the retired Air Force Officers on this important occasion, saying, “it is always heart-warming to see our forebears in their numbers at functions such as this.”

The CDS presented the first Golden Jubilee medal to CAS on behalf of all commissioned officers and Master Air Warrant Officer Simon Samuel Adetsu on behalf of all air men and air women.
The medal is an embroidery of the aviation blue background with the Air Force colours in vertical stripes. Attached to the embroidery is a brass medallion spotting the Ghana Air Force emblem.



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