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"No other agency can do what you do at Coast Guard..." CinC to Coast Guard

Commander in Chief, His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, urged Officers and Ratings of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard to take care of the assets in their possession even as he committed to ensuring the professional and operational development of the Unit. “You are the best defence Guyana has against maritime crimes. You have a responsibility to protect our assets; to protect our fishermen. Foreign trade is to be protected and our citizens are to be kept safe as they traverse our coastal communities,” he said. “Government will continue to provide you with the resources. On your part, you are to look after the equipment. Continue to do your duty. Continue to serve your country. This government will continue to ensure that you have the resources you need to perform your duties.”

The Commander in Chief (CinC) issued the charge and made the commitment on June 1, during his first visit to Coast Guard Ship Hinds (CGSH) at Ruimveldt, where he met first with senior commanders and officers of the Coast Guard. Prior to addressing the officers and troops, the CinC was first briefed by Captain (CG) Gary Beaton, on the role, responsibilities and operational readiness of the Unit. During the briefing, and in the presence of Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips and other Senior Officers, Captain (CG) Beaton outlined for the CinC, the current situation as it relates to operational responsibilities, human and technical resources, and training for CG troops. He made the case that the Unit’s troop strength needs to be increased while acquiring more marine assets, in order to ensure that the Coast Guard can truly impact the national maritime environment in service to the nation, especially as it relates to militating against maritime crimes.

Following the brief, the CinC was taken on a tour the facilities at the Coast Guard Headquarters. The tour included an inspection of the marine maintenance shops, CG vessels, and the Guyana Police Force’s floating base which is currently berthed alongside the wharf at CGSH. He also experienced a short trip in the Georgetown Harbour aboard one of Coast Guard’s Metal Shark vessels.

Speaking to the issue of resourcing, the CinC explained that the Coast Guard “...takes a huge bite out of the GDF’s budget.” He assured that this notwithstanding; the task of the Coast Guard is immense. “You have some 58000 sqkm of sea space to protect.  Make no mistake the waters I speak of are Guyana’s waters. You are not only looking after our rivers and coastland, you are protecting the patrimony of Guyana. You have a wide seascape and limited assets. You are to take care of these assets. Every time we acquire assets for the Coast Guard, it means that we are shifting financial resources away from another area that is in need of development,” he said. “I am better aware today of the challenges. I am committed to strengthening the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard must be brought up to strength. We are going to consider a Reserve to be trained to augment your operational readiness.”

Commander in Chief, His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, urged Officers and Ratings of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard to take care of the assets in their possession even as he committed to ensuring the professional and operational development of the Unit. “You are the best defence Guyana has against maritime crimes. You have a responsibility to protect our assets; to protect our fishermen. Foreign trade is to be protected and our citizens are to be kept safe as they traverse our coastal communities,” he said. “Government will continue to provide you with the resources. On your part, you are to look after the equipment. Continue to do your duty. Continue to serve your country. This government will continue to ensure that you have the resources you need to perform your duties.”

The Commander in Chief (CinC) issued the charge and made the commitment on June 1, during his first visit to Coast Guard Ship Hinds (CGSH) at Ruimveldt, where he met first with senior commanders and officers of the Coast Guard. Prior to addressing the officers and troops, the CinC was first briefed by Captain (CG) Gary Beaton, on the role, responsibilities and operational readiness of the Unit. During the briefing, and in the presence of Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips and other Senior Officers, Captain (CG) Beaton outlined for the CinC, the current situation as it relates to operational responsibilities, human and technical resources, and training for CG troops. He made the case that the Unit’s troop strength needs to be increased while acquiring more marine assets, in order to ensure that the Coast Guard can truly impact the national maritime environment in service to the nation, especially as it relates to militating against maritime crimes.

Following the brief, the CinC was taken on a tour the facilities at the Coast Guard Headquarters. The tour included an inspection of the marine maintenance shops, CG vessels, and the Guyana Police Force’s floating base which is currently berthed alongside the wharf at CGSH. He also experienced a short trip in the Georgetown Harbour aboard one of Coast Guard’s Metal Shark vessels.

Speaking to the issue of resourcing, the CinC explained that the Coast Guard “...takes a huge bite out of the GDF’s budget.” He assured that this notwithstanding; the task of the Coast Guard is immense. “You have some 58000 sqkm of sea space to protect.  Make no mistake the waters I speak of are Guyana’s waters. You are not only looking after our rivers and coastland, you are protecting the patrimony of Guyana. You have a wide seascape and limited assets. You are to take care of these assets. Every time we acquire assets for the Coast Guard, it means that we are shifting financial resources away from another area that is in need of development,” he said. “I am better aware today of the challenges. I am committed to strengthening the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard must be brought up to strength. We are going to consider a Reserve to be trained to augment your operational readiness.”

 

COMMANDER IN CHIEF MAKES FIRST WORKING VISIT TO GDF- DECLARES OPEN STANDARD OFFICERS COURSE #48

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Guyana, His Excellency David Arthur Granger today paid his first official visit to the Guyana Defence Force at Base Camp Stephenson where he declared open the Standard Officers Course #48.

The objective of the course is to produce an Officer who can lead and administer soldiers, while upholding the values and standards of their respective militaries. There are currently thirty three students on the course which includes two students from the Belize Defence Force, and two from the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force. Of the Forty –five students who began training, one Officer Cadet (OCDT) Brittany Van Lange of the GDF was selected to attend the West Point Military Academy in the United States, and the other 11 discontinued training due to medical and other reasons.

In a well focused and guided presentation to the Cadets, the Commander-in-Chief congratulated the cadets for choosing what he termed, “the best profession” in the world. He outlined the reason for their grooming and training for leadership stating that, “no corners can be cut.” He recollected that very early in the development of the GDF commanders saw the need to produce officers of the highest calibre given the threats that were facing Guyana at the time, thus the establishment of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School.

He singled out the qualities of Loyalty, Honesty, Worth, Courage, Discipline and Steadfastness as those which Officers must possess. President Granger in 2009 compiled a booklet which captures, in an instructive manner, the Core Values and Standards of the Force. Today, he told the budding officers that the book is their catechism and they must read it so that their conduct can be properly guided. The booklet explains clearly and outlines what is expected of Officers and Soldiers in the Force. It also serves as guide to prevent them from being involved in activities which can bring the Force into disrepute.

He noted too that while defence is conducted by human beings, moral forces were more important. In this regard, he singled out attitude, belief, conduct, determination and education of all ranks, as the main factors that determined the outcome of military operations along with the material aspect. “It’s not what’s on your shoulders, but what is in your head that will determine the outcome of operations. An operation is not a one man show, it depends on a team that has to be commanded and that’s why we have CUPOCS. The task to command is given to officers. They have legal authority to exercise the function of command.... the CIC issues instruments individually to those who deserve it, “he said.

The CIC told the officers-in–training that expertise and training, social responsibility and corporate consciousness are the characters of professional Officers and as such are qualities they must understand and emulate.

President Granger also used the opportunity to announce his intention of restarting a National Cadet Corps. The President and several other retired outstanding members of the Force were part of the Queens College Cadet Corps which brought together youths between the ages of 12-18 and taught them leadership skills, team work, public service and exposed them to travel around their country. The Corps was later named the National Cadet Corps, then the Army Cadet Company and eventually disbanded. “ I believe that in the secondary school , youngsters should be exposed to teamwork to prepare them. Even if they don’t become members of the GDF, the skills they learn will stay with them throughout their respective careers. This is not militarisation. It was voluntary then and it will still be that way,” he said.

The motto of the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School is, “I serve Guyana”. The Commander in Chief commanded the motto to the Cadets and insisted, “Youwill not be disappointed. The military is the finest profession a young person in Guyana can choose.”

President Granger after his address toured the recently completed state of the art accommodation quarters for the Cadets and had lunch with them.

The Standard Officers Course #48 is scheduled to conclude in February next year with a Commissioning Parade.

GDF S ESSEQUIBO RETURNS TO INTERNATIONAL EXERCISES - DEPARTS FOR EXERCISE TRADEWINDS

The Guyana Defence Force Flagship, the GDFS Essequibo, has departed with a team for St. Kitts/ Nevis to participate in Exercise Trade winds.

Exercise Tradewinds is a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) sponsored training exercise held annually in the Caribbean and has two phases –Maritime and Land Operations. The Maritime Phase is scheduled to be held in St Kitts Nevis from May 30- June 9, 2015 and the Land Operations Phase is scheduled to be held in Belize from June 14-24.

The team comprises 4 Officers and 36 Other Ranks from the Coast Guard, and 3 Other Ranks as supporting staff drawn from across the Force. The team on board the vessel will participate exclusively in the Maritime phase.

Commanding Officer of the vessel, Lieutenant (Coast Guard) Adrian McLean explained that, ranks will be exposed to several aspects of training during the period. He also noted that additional ranks will join the exercise to conduct small boat operations training, and the maritime phase will culminate with a 2-day exercise.

The aim of Exercise Tradewinds is to help Caribbean nations to be better able to counter land and maritime security threats such as human smuggling and trafficking in illegal weapons and ammunition. 

THE GUYANA DEFENCE FORCE ATHLETICS CLUB COPPED 11 MEDALS FROM THE HAMPTON GAMES

A team from the Guyana Defence Force Athletics Club did their country proud, copping two gold, three silver and six bronze medals at the recently concluded Hampton Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

The members of the team were Petty Officer Leslain Baird, Lance Corporals Rupert Perry, Devin Fraser and Ashanti Scott, Ordinary Rating Laurex Stewart, Recruits Andrea Foster, Aniquah Prowley and Nutrina Hooper, Manager/Captain Jermaine Newton, Coach Robert Chishlom and Assistant Coach Rawle Griffith.

Baird broke his national javelin record with a throw of 67.60m to take gold, and bronze in the men’s triple jump while Andrea Foster delivered a sterling performance to cop gold, silver and bronze in the women’s 300m, 1500m and 800m respectively.

In addition, Aniquah Prowley also made her mark, when she copped silver in the women’s 100m. Darren Fraser, Rupert Perry and Natrena Hooper also added to the medal tally when they all won bronze in the men’s 100m, 200m and women’s triple jump respectively.

The men’s 4 x 100m and the women’s 4 x 400m also recorded strong finishes with the teams winning the bronze and silver medals respectively in the contested events.

The Head Coach, Robert Chishlom said he was pleased with the overall performance of his team, “Leslain broke his national record and this was the first exposure to these games for several of the athletes.” This was the first exposure at the games for Scott, Foster, Stewart and Prowley. He also attributed this year’s performance to the time athletes devoted to training.

In an interview with the two gold medallists who expressed their elation. Baird said “I felt good when I broke the record, I was a bit nervous competing with international athletes but I remembered what my coach said, don’t concentrate on competitors concentrate on distance so I went out there and did my best and I guess my hard work paid off.”

Foster said “I felt really really nice to have won the gold medal. I would like to thank the persons who believed in me like my coaches, Apostle and church members who has been praying for me. I felt great that I could have represented my country”

The Coach and other members of the team expressed gratitude to the Chief of Staff and the Guyana Defence Force for making their participation a reality.

CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT SERVICES URGES CITIZENS TO CONTINUE TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND GOOD JUDGEMENT

Chairman of the Joint Services, Brigadier Mark Phillips, is urging all Guyanese to remain calm and continue to exercise restraint and good judgement. “As we await the final declaration from GECOM, let us avoid antagonistic behaviour and remain patient as due process and the rule of law takes it course”.

“Continue therefore to temper any tendency to become riled or give in to frustration. For those who are celebrating remember, to do so in keeping with the ambits of the law.

Citizens, have patience with the process and let good sense prevail. Guyana is ours. Let us therefore, conduct ourselves at all times for the development and good of our beloved nation.