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As part of its ongoing efforts to foster good civil-military relations with communities, the Guyana Defence Force on Monday December 8, 2014, made a series of tangible donations to the community of Kaikan, located on the Wenamu River, near the Venezuelan border.

Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips and a core of Senior Officers , along with a Medical team visited the location and while there handed over one 30hpYamaha Outboard Engine, a Solar Power system, one complete computer system for use by the school there as well as 5 volleyballs for the its volleyball team.

Brigadier Mark Phillips, at the simple handing over ceremony, noted that the initiative forms part of a wider commitment by the Force to adopt the school and so, provide continuous assistance in any way possible.

Meanwhile, the medical team extended services to close to 40 persons who received treatment for a variety of illnesses.

The Force has embarked on a similar initiative with the community of Cashew Island located at New River where it has been providing assistance to the school there and catering to the education of the children of that small community which is located in proximity of Base Camp Jaguar, near the Suriname border.

The Guyana Defence Force attaches importance to the education of the country’s youth which falls into a greater thrust of ‘Service’ to the nation and part of its role which specifies that it contribute to the economic development of Guyana.

GDF graduates another female paratrooper.

The Guyana Defence Force yesterday graduated its second female paratrooper at the headquarters of the 31 Special Forces Squadron at Base Camp Stephenson. Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, extended hearty congratulations to Lance Corporal (LCPL) Indrani Lyte on her achievement. LCPL Lyte was among 17 soldiers who successfully completed the Grade Three Special Forces and the Basic Paratrooper’s courses.

Lance Corporal Lyte who hails from the Finance Department said that she has always wanted to experience what she saw the paratroopers doing and she purposed that she would gain the necessary training. “This is a dream come through for me,” she said, “It was tough but my peers provided support and encouragement. I encourage any female who wants to become a paratrooper to go for it. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I intend to keep on learning and growing in this field.”

In his welcome and congratulatory remarks, Brigadier Phillips explained that they were now not just soldiers trained in a specialist field but that they had now also become brothers and sisters in the force’s family of paratroopers. ‘This is a special unit,” he said, “your training is specialised and is geared toward special missions. I urge you to read on the history of Paratrooping the world over. You will find that Paratrooping is not only used to deliver men into combat or other operational zones. It is not only relevant in war time but also in times of peace. Paratrooping is used to facilitate relief work when supplies, food, medicines and equipment need to be provided in disaster zones and situations.”

“The Special Forces has an important role and will continue to exist. So too will training in this area. I am pleased to see soldiers from other units other than the Infantry and Special Forces graduating today. This is the future thrust for training of paratroopers in the GDF.” He said.

The Chief of Staff, himself a Brazilian-trained paratrooper, was joined by Base Commander, Base Camp Stephenson Wilbert Lee and Commander of the First Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel  Fitzroy Warde, both also paratroopers, in welcoming the new paratroopers into the family, and awarding them their new badges and certificates.

COS urges new soldiers to embrace discipline

Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, on Wednesday, congratulated the latest cohort of 256 new soldiers, and urged them to embrace discipline. “Discipline, particularly your self-discipline, is critical to your development and progress as a soldier in the Guyana Defence Force. You have just completed training which is designed to transform you from being civilians into soldiers. During this training you learnt new ways of thinking and behaving.  You have demonstrated, through your collective behaviour and coordination on this parade, that you have inculcated a large measure of discipline. This must continue. You have to work at maintaining a disciplined approach each day, as you serve in the GDF,” he said. He was, at the time, delivering the feature address at the “Passing Out” parade for the new soldiers.

Explaining that in 2015, the GDF’s focus will be on operational readiness, Brigadier Phillips, entreated the soldiers to be ready to serve the GDF and Guyana. “The GDF serves Guyana! The GDF defends the Constitution of Guyana and protects Guyana’s national interests. You will undergo further training at your Units which will broaden your understanding of the GDF and prepare you for the tasks required,” he said. The COS challenged the soldiers to understand their rights and duties under military law and refrain from engaging in any form of criminal behaviour. Additionally, he encouraged them to pursue continuing education and, at all times, make use of opportunities for learning. “Learn, practice and uphold the Values and Standards of the GDF. This training ahs transformed you. Today, you must begin this new path by taking responsibility for your actions,” the COS said

Private (PTE) Noel De Jonge was adjudged the Best Graduating Student while PTE Shawn Williams earned the Best Fitness award. Privates, Randolph Doobay, Jay James, and Randy Deputron were awarded Best [at] Drill, Best Shot, and Best Military Knowledge respectively. This second cohort of new soldiers brings the total of new enlistments to the Force for 2014, to 529.


COS briefs troops on political situation and emphasises operational readiness.


Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, has briefed GDF officers and ranks, on the current political situation, particularly as it relates to President Ramotar’s prorogation of parliament.


He explained the security implications, and emphasised to the troops, the need for a sustained state of readiness to carry out duties, in keeping with the mandate of the GDF, as stated in Section 5, Chapter 15:01 of the Defence Act in the Constitution which states that, “...The Force shall be charged with the defence of and maintenance of order in Guyana and with other duties as may from time to time be defined by the Defence Board.” 


In his address to GDF troops, Brigadier Phillips emphasised that their approach to their duties must be with the aim of ensuring the highest degree of professionalism at all times. He entreated the troops not to become emotional but to remain vigilant and task oriented. “We have a role to play as providers of our nation’s safety and security. To this end, all Officers, other Ranks and Civilian employees of the Force are expected to be in a state of readiness to ensure a professional commitment to our national role,” he said.


As befits its role to aid the civil powers in the maintenance of order, the GDF is committed to working in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force and other members of the Joint Services.