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GDF impacts Cashew Island through Education



Continuing on its mission of ‘Service’ to the nation, the Guyana Defence Force, has over the last three years, been impacting the lives of members of a small Amerindian Community in Region 6, in a way that will have lasting benefits. Cashew Island, located in New River, approximately two and a half miles from Base Camp Jaguar, is a community with an average population of 80 persons, including children.

Prior to 2011, there was no school in the community and the persons there spoke their traditional languages , Trio and Wai- Wai. The Toshao of the community, Kenke Yiamo ,who has functioned as a guide for GDF personnel during patrols, requested the Force’s assistance in teaching his people.

Now Major ( ret’d) Ivan McNaughton and his wife , Yvette McNaughton , a trained teacher, were  re-employed by the Force to teach the children of that community.

The children  are being taught reading, basic mathematical and composition skills.

“When we first started, it was very difficult for us to communicate with them. Language was the major barrier. Today, even the little five year olds understand English. Those who have absorbed the language faster, help each other during test time with translations . The parents are also very eager to have their children learn,” Maj (ret’d) Mc Naughton stated. He added that even though the school population is meager, the work is substantial.

Four of the older children have since been brought to Georgetown to pursue Vocational training.

He noted too that they have since implemented evening classes at the school for several parents who are being taught Reading and Basic Mathematics. “Our biggest wish is for the children in particular, to learn to read and write properly so that they can come out to further their studies. It is my hope that they 0will return to their communities and help out as skilled people are really needed there,” he added.

The Guyana Defence Force has been the driving Force in contributing to the welfare of this community, from the provision of employment and infrastructure to medical care.





DHQ leads Re-Greening Training











Defence Headquarters, led by Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, is the first Unit to have completed a retraining exercise in jungle skills.



At approximately 1630 hours today, two ranks stationed at the Colonel John Clarke Military School at Tacama were injured when two rounds were accidentally discharged from a firearm.

The injured are Lt Othneil Hope and RCT Vernon Harding. Both ranks are currently at the GPHC receiving treatment for their injuries.

The Guyana Defence Force has initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Further details will be released as they are made available.



Chief- of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips on Tuesday April 29, 2014 received United States Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Brent Hardt at his office, during a courtesy call.

The reception team, which also comprised Colonel Administration and Quartering Captain (Coast Guard) John Flores and Staff Officer 1 One General 3, Lieutenant Colonel Cargill Kyte and Lieutenant Colonel Nazrul Hussain, held a series of discussions with Ambassador Hardt and US Military Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Commander Robert Novotny.

The discussions saw an expression of sentiments in the strengthening of security co-operation and partnership between the GDF and the US Military. In the area of capacity building, the US’s support in the recently concluded Metal Shark training, Special Forces Training and the assistance facilitated through the International Military Education Training Programme (IMET) were also noted.

There was a proposal for more training opportunities for GDF personnel at the operational and tactical levels for the Coast Guard and Land Forces.

Also noted were the successes of the State Partnership Programme between the GDF and the Florida National Guard. This partnership has seen GDF ranks being trained in Disaster Management by the US in Miami and Guyana, as well as Cadets from the FNG engaging in their Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Programme (CULP) “Destination Guyana” in 2013. This was deemed a highly successful model programme and another batch of cadets is scheduled to return to Guyana, this year.

The US Military has indicated an interest to undergo jungle training in Guyana. Brigadier Mark Phillips has informed that the training facilities at the Jungle and Amphibious Training School (JATS) at Makouria are available.

The United States Military and the Guyana Defence Force continues to enjoy decades of security co-operation which have been beneficial to both sides.


GDF inks new Collective Labour Agreement with GLU

The Guyana Defence Force has inked a Collective Labour Agreement with the Guyana Labour Union (GLU). GDF Colonel Administration and Quartering, Captain John Flores and General Secretary of the GLU, Mr. Carvil Duncan were the main signatories. The agreement, which covers all permanent civilians employed by the GDF, was signed on April 16 last.

Captain Flores noted that, the completion and signing of the agreement is indicative of the GDF’s continued respect and concern for the welfare of the Force’s civilian employees. “The GDF has great respect for all of its employees and we value the contributions of our civilian labour force. We will continue to treat with them in the letter and spirit of this agreement and also with regard to our national laws. Our doors are also open for consultations should any issue arise that is not covered in this agreement.”

The GLU General Secretary lauded the GDF’s commitment to protecting the rights of its civilian employees with the establishment of the new agreement. He also commended the GDF for maintaining a very healthy relationship with the GLU. “I am happy that an agreement has been reached and concluded between the two parties,” he said. “People often wonder how it is that a union is operating in a military organisation when unions are generally associated with go-slows and strikes. With the GDF we operate on principles embracing discussions and consultations to arrive at consensus. The GDF is worker-friendly and takes care of their people. They also have a high regard for the union. The GLU enjoys a unique relationship with the Guyana defence Force. The signing of this agreement shows a continuation of that relationship,” he added.

Also present at the signing ceremony were, Staff Officer One General One, Lt Colonel Patrick West, Assistant Chief Labour Officer, Ms. Lydia Greene, GLU Field Officer, Mr. Michael Stevens and GDF Shop Steward, Ms. Doreth Christian. The pervious agreement was signed in 1977.