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CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT SERVICES URGES CITIZENS TO REMAIN CALM AND MAINTAIN PEACE

Chairman of the Joint Services, Brigadier Mark Phillips, urges all Guyanese to be calm. “As the nation awaits the official results from the Guyana Elections Commission, I urge that all Guyanese remain calm. Do not allow yourselves to be provoked and do not give way to negative emotions and suggestions of negative occurrences. The GECOM is the only institution by which we can get the official results of the elections. I urge you to wait and be patient. When the final announcement is made, I urge that all demonstrate maturity and let good sense prevail by accepting the official results. We are all in this together and there is nothing to be gained by destroying our communities and harming each other. Progress and real development will not come through violence!”

 

Brigadier Phillips also emphasised the role of the GDF in this period, as being in support of the Police. “The GDF will be involved in various patrols in support of the Guyana Police Force with the intent to ensure stable, safe and secure communities across Guyana. I urge you to support our troops as they carry out their Constitutional tasks to keep you and your communities safe. You do not need to fear our troops. We are working to ensure your safety.

 

We like you look forward to the eventual announcement of the final results from GECOM and we look forward to continuing to build this great nation of ours in partnership with you. As we wait, I pray God’s blessings on all citizens and our beloved nation. 

 

GDF hosts artistes for LOVE IS CONTAGIOUS CONCERT at Base Camp Ayanganna

The Guyana Defence Force’s  “Love Is Contagious” concert is set to blast off tomorrow evening at the GDF Sports Ground at Base Camp Ayanganna. The Concert is titled as such because it aims to speak out against gender-based violence, stigma and discrimination in all forms.

Earlier today, Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips together with senior Officers, hosted the performing artistes of the concert to a welcome luncheon at Base Camp Ayanganna. Enjoying a warm Guyanese and GDF welcome were concert headliners, Jamaican Mega Stars Tarrus Riley and Tanya Stephens, along with supporting acts Timeka Marshall and Jackie Jaxx and some members of their entourage.

Following the luncheon, the artistes were presented with tokens of appreciation by the Chief of Staff, while concert partners Fly Jamaica, Insel Air and Caribbean Airlines presented tokens to the COS. The presentations followed a warm welcome by Lieutenant Colonel Julius Skeete who said that welcoming the Jamaicans to Guyana and the GDF was like welcoming them home. “We welcome you as our brothers and sisters. Jamaica and Guyana share a rich Caribbean history and deep cultural bonds. It is a well known fact that Jamaicans love their Guyanese brethren and vice versa. Additionally, the GDF and the Jamaican military also have a rich history of co-operation and collaboration for training and also in our participation in regional military exercises such as Exercise Tradewinds. We are happy that you have partnered with us for this event as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations.”

The artistes interacted with the Officers and Soldiers and Civilians of the GDF. They promised electrifying performances at tomorrow night’s event which will be held at the GDF Sports Ground, Base Camp Ayanganna. Earlier in the day, the GDF in partnership with its HIV/AIDS PEPFAR Programme will host a Health Fair on Base Camp Ayanganna’s front lawns. The reasonably-priced concert tickets are already on sale at various venues.

The concert is just one of several events planned for the celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Others are: A Grand Route march, a Ms. GDF Pageant, a Military Tattoo and Military Command competition both of which will see Regional participation, numerous sporting activities, an Anniversary Church Service and a Drill Competition.

“Stay the Course realise your dreams...!” COS encourages recruits.

Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, urged some 301 recruits to stay the course and become worthy protectors of Guyana, at the formal opening of the first Basic Recruit Course (BRC) for 2015. “You have chosen this noble institution, the Guyana Defence Force, as the place where you wish to build a career. I am happy that you have. Now that you are here, I urge you to stay the course, successfully complete your training and realise your dreams as a soldier; when you become soldiers you will stand as men, wearing with pride, the most significant uniform in Guyana.”

The Chief of Staff empathised with the recruits, saying that he understood the difficulty of their training, because the process of converting from a civilian and becoming a soldier demanded a total shift in mindset and attitude. “I too dreamed the dream of serving my country and I once trained as you are training now. You have to be determined to succeed. The training will not get easier, but you will become tougher as you surmount every challenge brought before you. You will discover that you can do things that you never before thought that you are capable of, when your spirits get low, lean on each other; support each other. In this environment, you will be making friends who will become your friends for life!” he said. “The central focus of your training is discipline! Without discipline you will not grow, you will not achieve, you will not excel. I challenge you to demonstrate the highest levels of discipline in everything you do,” he entreated.

The recruits for the current BRC are being trained in two cohorts, one posted at the Colonel John Clarke Military School at Tacama and the second at Base Camp Seweyo on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. The recruits who have commenced training were culled from the hundreds of applicants seeking to establish a career as soldiers, and, following the 10-week BRC are scheduled to be promoted to Privates on June 5.

Chief of Staff briefs GDF Officers and Ranks on their role for Elections

Brigadier General Mark Phillips once again briefed servicemen and women of the Guyana Defence Force as well as the Force's civilian staff on their role, regarding the conduct of their duties and their service to the nation as soldiers and citizens for the upcoming national elections. He emphasised this morning that a thoroughly professional approach is to be demonstrated and maintained at all times.

                                      

He commenced his address by stating that contrary to what has been peddled nationally, the Guyana Defence Force is a professional organisation and remains the stable band in the society. “Service to the nation remains our motto,” he added.

“Ranks you have a civic responsibility as citizens to exercise your franchise during national elections by casting your vote. You are free to vote for whichever person or political party you choose, since it is your Constitutional right. However, do not allow anyone to make that decision for you. Your vote and who you cast it for is your personal and private choice!” he emphasised.

All were reminded that it was unprofessional to exhibit any form of campaigning on any military base. “Guyana is still being governed by President Donald Ramotar who was duly elected to the Presidency. He is still the Commander in Chief of the military, and in that regard, still has the right to give instructions to the military,” he said, “Ex military officers also have the right to participate in the political activities of Guyana. We respect their service to Guyana. However, our current operational decision-making is not influenced by ex military officers. We take orders from the duly elected president of Guyana, our Commander in Chief, President Donald Ramotar,” he added

The Chief of Staff explained that there will be a large number of representatives from several countries and International bodies in Guyana during the elections period, serving as Observers, and repeated his concern that the highest level of professionalism must be

displayed at all times. “You are to avoid any type of confrontational situations regarding political matters, and, if approached by political representatives on matters regarding the GDF, you must refer those persons to me.”

Military personnel and other members of the Joint Services will cast their ballots on Saturday, May 2. Military personnel will be confined from May 6, in preparation for deployment in support of the Guyana Police Force as becomes necessary. It is traditional for the military to vote several days ahead of the general public so that troops can be available for service to the nation as need be, during, and even after the period of National Elections are over.

The military is a professional institution and remains committed to the defence and security of the state of Guyana and upholding the nation's Constitution!

 

BRITISH AND CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONERS AND US CHARGE´ D’AFFAIRES CALLS ON COS

Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips received the British and Canadian High Commissioners to Guyana, Mr Greg Quinn and Dr. Nicole Giles as well as US Charge´ D’Affaires, Mr Bian Hunte at his Office, Defence Headquarters, for a courtesy call on Tuesday last.

Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel Kemraj Persaud and, Colonels George Lewis(Inspector General), Enoch Gaskin(Chairman, Joint Services Training Committee), Paul Arthur( Colonel Administration and Quartering) and Nazrul Hussain (Staff Officer One, Special Duties), were also part of the reception team.

The discussion primarily focused on the upcoming National and Regional Elections in the context of the role of the Joint Services. Specifically, topics raised included the Joint Services relationship with the Guyana Elections Commission, the strategic deployment of the GDF for elections and its professional image during this process, the conduct of the Force on Elections day as well as the GDF as a stable band, constitutionally committed to a free, fair and peaceful electoral process.

Inter-agency cooperation with other Law enforcement agencies as well as the issue of intelligence gathering and updating mechanisms also formed part of the discussion. Additionally, the officials examined new trends in behaviours of protectors globally versus new techniques to counter these threats.

The discussion also provided the Officers with the opportunity to explain the concept of the Joint Services Co-ordinating Council as well as brief the diplomats on the concept of Joint Services Training and the function and role of the Inter-Services School for Internal Security Studies in preparing its personnel for internal security situations.