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Command changes at Base Camp Stephenson as Colonel Lee Bids Farewell!

Command of Base Camp Stephenson yesterday changed hands when Colonel (Col) Wilbert Lee formally handed over to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Terry Benn at a simple yet significant ceremony on the Hard Square at Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.

GDF concludes 50th Anniversary Inter Unit Novices Boxing Championships

The Guyana Defence Force has concluded the finals of the 50th Anniversary Inter-Unit Male and Female Novices Boxing Championship 2015 with the Coast Guard retaining its title as champion unit.

The runner-up unit was Coastal Battalion, while the 3 1 Special Forces Squadron came in third and the 2nd Infantry Battalion, fourth.

The curtains came down on Friday March 13, 2015. The entire competition saw over 168 bouts, the largest in many years. The final night saw a total of 14 bouts including one female bout in the light heavyweight category and 3 exhibition fights.

The prize for best male boxer went to OR Collin Lewis of the Coast Guard who defeated LCPL Trevon Dooker to win the Junior Welterweight category. OR Marijka was adjudged the best female boxer.

The auditorium at Base Camp Ayanganna was filled to capacity as soldiers from around the Force and other invitees came to catch a glance of the event throughout the week. The match to see on final night was the bout between PTE Darrel McPherson of the Air Corps and PTE Julius Handover of the 31 Special Forces Squadron. Both participants were cheered by members of their respective units and started off with Handover who threw vigorous punches at his opponent who kept up well throughout the match, which eventually saw him bowing from punches as fatigue started to step in. Both men proved that they were very good boxers who had taken the best of the training they received. However in the end, McPherson was adjudged the Middle Weight Winner.

The female bout was clearly the most anticipated as the crowd welcomed the only females who made it through the competition. Ordinary Rating Marijka Azore of the Coast Guard and LCPL Ladonna Naar sent patrons standing and at times jumping on their feet as they took on each other. The referee was forced to stop the bout on a few occasions for them to attend to their head gear. Naar , who was the crowd favourite seemed on the ball and having her opponent under control but Azore held on with no giving up and punched her way in a very strategic manner to eventually cop the winning trophy.

Other winners included OR Michel Worrel (Flyweight (male), Privates Aluko Venture      (Bantamweight (male) and Keon Williams (Featherweight (male)) and Private Neel Anthon of the 31 Special Force Squadron (Lightweight (male).

Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel Kemraj Persaud in brief remarks applauded the efforts put in by all those involved to make the competition a success. He also pointed to the hard work put in by the boxer, and, to this end he singled out the female bout. Colonel Persaud stated that the two females will be further recognized, by way of an additional incentive for their performance in the competition.

Boxing Coach Terrence Poole says he is pleased with the performance of the boxers, noting that this points to the potential of the boxers. “The training has paid off and this speaks volumes for boxing for the GDF. This type of performance will definitely take us a far way,” he said.

GDF Junior NCO Club hosts successful R1 Vodka Dominoes Tournament

The Guyana Defence Force Junior Non-Commissioned Officers’ Club successfully hosted its inaugural R1Vodka Competition on March 14 and 15 last at the Corporals’ Club at Base Camp Ayanganna. Twelve clubs participated in the competition. The Providence Sports Club copped the Champion’s purse of $100,000 and the trophy. The Specialists finished in second place while Spartans clinched the third place and the R&R Dominoes Club finished fourth. Mr. A Samaroo of Spartans was the Competition’s MVP. President of the GDF Junior Non Commissioned Officers Club, Corporal Junior Spencer said that although the number of clubs participating was not as many as anticipated, the competition was smoothly run and participants and spectators alike had fun. According to him, this was the first time in recent memory, that the club has hosted a dominoes competition. At the official launch of the competition on March 12, Banks DIH R1 Vodka Brand Manager, Ian DeBarros, said that, R1 Vodka was proud to be the main sponsor of the competition. “Banks DIH R1 Vodka is pleased to be associated with this competition. This is an opportunity for us, to not only develop brand awareness, but also to partner with the GDF through its Junior Non-Commissioned Officers, to the development of excellence at the sport of dominoes,” he said. “Dominoes is historically quite popular across Guyana, and competitions like this, help to expose new players to the competitive environment and build camaraderie. We are thankful to the GDF that we have been invited to be on board for this competition.” The Banks R1 vodka Brand sponsored the $100,000 first prize. BANKS also hosted a Power Wine Sampling, and a “happy hour” activity where patrons who purchased one bottle of R1 Vodka got a second bottle free. Speaking at the launch, President of the Georgetown Dominoes Association, Mrs Faye Fraser, said that she was enthused to see GDF enabling a structured environment for the development and enjoyment of the sport within its environment. “The Georgetown Dominoes Association is pleased to give its blessing and approval for this inaugural competition, and we hope to see the sport further developed within the GDF. It is also good to note that the hosts have been able to secure the requisite sponsorship for the competition,” she said. The second place team won $70,000 and a trophy, while the third place team walked away with -MORE- $30,000 and a trophy and the fourth place team $10,000 and a trophy. The MVP of the competition was awarded $3,000. Cevons Waste Management sponsored the second place prize while Resolute Engineering sponsored the third place prize money. The fourth place award was sponsored by the hosts. All trophies were donated by DIGICEL.

GDF launches first Military Electronic Health Information Network in South America

The Guyana Defence Force launched the first Military Electronic Health Information Network (MeHIN) on the continent of South America on Friday, February 27 last. The historic launch was done at the headquarters of the GDF’s Medical Corps at Base Camp Ayanganna. GDF’s MeHIN is to be known as the Military Health Information System or “MHIS”.

 

Speaking to the Force’s latest achievement, Colonel Administration and Quartering, Captain (CG) John Flores indicated that, the acquisition of the technological resources and training to facilitate the launch of the project had been in the pipeline for a few years. “The Force recognised that, it needed a more efficient mechanism for the management of patient care including records management and security, over what it had been doing traditionally. The acquisition of the technological resources as well as the necessary training of our staff means that the GDF has now moved into 21st century medical management mode,” he said. “The system will allow us to effectively record and manage the medical services and interventions provided for our soldiers regardless of where they are located across Guyana.”

In her remarks at the launch of the MHIS, US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) Senior Health Informatics Advisor, Miss. Mary Kratz, said that the GDF is to be “..commended for their leadership to Guyana and the Region...”. Kratz also explained that, among other things, the MeHIN will support the tracking of HIV services such as prevention, counselling and testing as well as care services provided by the GDF. According to her, the GDF has now joined 11 other “military partners” from the Caribbean, Africa, and Central America who participate in the MeHIN. “I welcome the GDF to the Military eHealth Community and look forward to continual improvements to MHIS through the shared contributions of military medical partners to drive the requirements of services provided by both public and private partners.

Kratz, together with Director of Global Health Informatics Systems for Vista Life Sciences Inc., Mr. Brain Mayo, spent the last two weeks training GDF Medical Corps Staff, key GDF administrative personnel as well as GDF ICT personnel on the hardware and the software used by the MHIS. During that time the MHIS was also deployed and practitioners gained practical exposure to utilising the system. The GDF MHIS currently comprises 14 user computers, one large computer server, robust security mechanisms, Electronic Medical Record Software and is ready to host an eLibrary of medical references. It also contains 36 user accounts across thee GDF sites/locations.

 

Captain (CG) Flores, thanked the US DHAPP, the US DOD Security Cooperation Office Commander Robert Novotny and Miss Kratz and Mr Mayo for enabling the GDF to acquire the MHIS and to commence a historic path to modern medical management. “We are thankful to you for the assistance provided to bring this project on stream. The GDF and Guyana’s continued cooperation with the US Department of Defense is aiding in our capacity as a military to advance our capabilities. Becoming the first military in South America to acquire this technology and the requisite skills is significant in itself. The GDF will not however wish to rest on this achievement but will lead the way in aiding the national health infrastructure to develop similar capabilities as our MHIS will deliver for us.”

 

 

Florida National Guard Leads timely SHARP Interaction

Twenty- nine ranks of the Guyana Defence Force have recently benefitted from vigorous and informative discussions in a Subject Matter Expert Exchage (SMEE) which dealt with the issue of Sexual Harassment Assault , Response Prevention SHARP) facilitated by ranks of the Florida National Guard.

The SHARP session allowed for a frank and open exchange of dialogue on sexual and gender based issues

Captain Deon Heyligar , Officer Commanding of the Force Welfare Department   stated that the exchange was excellent in terms of the information communicated . She noted that the issue crossed all societal boundaries but pointed out that the issue of culture has a role to play. “For instance we discussed the matter of date rape drugs . Even though this is present in our culture , we would find that it is not as prevalent as the use of alcohol and marijuana,” she noted.

However, she said the topic was very pertinent as it related to the general well being of soldiers. “ When we come to the social and psycho-social issues , this creates the balance . The issues which plague society we have to deal with it here in the GDF as well , since it is from this very society we get out personnel. But here in the GDF we are grounded in discipline and so a session like this as well as other consequent follow-ups will results in behaviour change. We impose discipline in this organisation and foster good behaviour change,” she further explained.

In this regard, Captain Heyligar also alluded to the fact that the Force is made up of a primarily youthful population and so it was necessary for there to be clarifications as it related to misconceptions about sex.

The three day discussion was facilitated by FNG ranks Captain Melissa Schuster , Sergeant 1stClass Heather and Master Sergeant Mike Callahan.

The SHARP team agreed that the participants shared much with them and so the discussions were fruitful and beneficial to both sides. “ We were able to discuss ideas, experiences  and the GDF personnel helped  us to tailor the session to match their needs  and I think that this has set the stage for this kind of SMEE at the senior level,” Captain Schuster