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The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Field Tactical Exercise (FTX), HOMEGUARD commenced today, with the final contingent of troops moving into the Exercise Area located in the jungles and savannahs of Ituni and Tacama (Regions 10 and 6). The Exercise will continue over the next ten days and culminate on August 26.


Brainstorming of the various scenarios and the totality of the Exercise, occurred during the Study Days and a Command Post Exercise (CPX) which were conducted over the past two weeks. Following these activities, a Tactical Exercise Without Troops (TEWT) was conducted.


The Exercise is designed to assess the GDF troops in Close Country Warfare (CCW) and Open Country Warfare (OCW) simulations of battle. The Exercise will also be utilising all available resources and pitting the troops against a simulated enemy, in order to validate training at all levels.

Exercise HOMEGUARD comes ten months on the heels of the successfully completed Exercise GREENHEART which was conducted in Region Seven last November. These Exercises are all part of the continuous training for the Officers and Ranks of the GDF, and are also designed to enable them to test theories and develop new strategies related to how OCW and CCW can best be executed.

The GDF Coast Guard collaborates with Edison Chouest Offshore LLC in Personnel training

Sub Lieutenant Eweart Andrews and Petty Officer Dornsford Wray embarked on MV Dante for sea training. MV Dante is a vessel owned by Edison Chouest Offshore LLC which supports Exxon/Mobil drilling operations in Guyana. This vessel is one of the supply vessels that provide logistics support to the drilling operations.


This training is a collaborated effort between the Guyana Defence Force and Edison Chouest Offshore LLC with the aim of enhancing the Coast Guard personnel knowledge on vessels, exposing them to new methods and providing an experience for the young Coast Guard soldiers.


The training is both deck side and engineering, covering a number of shipboard skills, exposing them to drills such as:

1. Man over Board

2. Fire fighting

3. Damage control

4. Spill response

5. Security Awareness and Training


On the deck side the Officer will be exposed to the following:

1. Dynamic position system

2. Use of radar

3. Electronic chart display information system

4. Navigational Chart Plotting

5. Correction of Nautical Charts and Publications


The engineers will be schooled in the following:

1. Starting and stopping procedures of main and auxiliary machinery

2. Power Distribution Split Bus for DP 2 Operations

3. Trouble shooting and maintenance to include preventative maintenance programme.

4. Liquid and Dry cargo transfer system.

5. Oil Record Book Entries and Use


The Coast Guard personnel will be on board the vessel for twenty eight (28) days period for the training. They will then be rotated out to allow for another two persons to enter the program.

Edison Chouest Offshore LLC has been providing such training for other entities and have a vibrant mariners school in the USA.


“Leadership is about the daily application of critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving. You are all returning to your places of work empowered. The challenge now is to apply what you have learned to better that environment.” Those were the words of Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips as he delivered brief remarks at the conclusion of a five-day Psychology of Leadership Course, which was conducted at Base Camp Ayanganna from July 25 to 29.


Course Facilitator, Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, retired Colonel Ronnie McCourt commended the participants’ enthusiasm for learning. A specialist in Applied Behavioural Science, Colonel McCourt, is a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Behavioural Science at Sandhurst. “I have not told these students what is or is not a specific modular application that will work. Rather, I have provided them with inputs and new perspectives of approaching and doing things. It is for them to apply the knowledge they have gained in their respective environments.”


Thanking the course members for their cooperation, Col McCourt said that it had been a terrific week working with the students. “You have been very open and receptive to new ideas. You now have the tools. Having them is not enough. Learning how to and actually using them is what will make you effective. Go out there and use what you have gained,” he encouraged.


Discussions between Brigadier General Mark Phillips and the British High Commissioner to Guyana His Excellency Mr. Gregg Quinn, led to the Colonel’s involvement. “Earlier in the year, the High Commission invited the Guyana Defence Force to send two of its Officers to a similar course in Barbados. The Officers recommended that a similar course be conducted here in Guyana for other GDF Officers. Subsequently, after the relevant discussions with the High Commissioner we are here today” the Chief of Staff said,


HE Mr. Gregg Quinn, in brief remarks, noted that he was glad that the course had gone well, and encouraged the participants to put into practice what they had learnt.


“Military-Civil co-operation is the key to what we do in the UK. It is a more effective way of operation,” he said. The High Commissioner expressed the hope that the connection and friendship (between the UK and the GDF) would continue in good stead. “This course is, in many ways, a renaissance in the UK/GDF relationship. It has been quite a year for us in terms of our collaboration and cooperation with Guyana and I look forward to it continuing,” he said. He concluded by thanking the Chief of Staff for his role in enabling the course to be realised, and the students, for their commitment. Both Brigadier General Phillips and HE Mr. Gregg Quinn are confident that the course will be conducted again in 2017.


The course, was part of the curriculum of the GDF’s Senior Command and Staff Course number 14 (SCSC #14), the capstone course for Officers training in the GDF. During the Psychology of Leadership Course, the 16 Officers attending the SCSC #14 were joined by Principal Personnel Secretary of the Ministry of Social Protection Mr. Shelton Daniels, Deputy Personnel Secretaries, Mrs. Joylyn Nestor-Burrowes, Mrs Kim Stephen, and Ms. Collette Adams of the Ministries of Agriculture, Ministry of Business, and the Ministry of Public Health respectively.


Noting its timeliness, the senior Public Servants lauded the initiative to include them on the programme. They contended that such a course and specialised level of training ought to be conducted across the entire Public Service, particularly in light of the changes which have been occurring in the workforce over the past decade. Such training, they believe, could arrest the deterioration in public service performance which has occurred, and aid in the resurgence of real professionalism in the Public Service.


Certificates were presented to all the participants of the course. Additionally, tokens of appreciation were presented, with Col McCourt receiving a plaque signifying the Colours of the GDF, while Brigadier General Phillips received a plaque from the Academy at Sandhurst.



Guyana Defence Force 31 Special Forces Lance Corporal (LCPL) Brentnol Carmichael,one of two GDF ranks, was adjudged the Most Outstanding Male, at the conclusion of the 2016 edition of the Physical Training Instructor Course, which was conducted in Trinidad and Tobago under the auspices of the University Of The West Indies. This feat was the result of his dedication and commitment which vaulted him ahead of the 66 other participants on the course.


For his achievement, LCPL Carmichael received his Diploma and the trophy recognising the award. He was one of two GDF ranks who were students on the course, the other being Lance Corporal Darrin Henry of Base Camp Ayanganna.


“My goal was to dedicate myself and earn the Diploma. As a soldier and a representative of the GDF, I knew that I had to work hard and do my very best, not just for myself, but because I was an ambassador of the Force,” he said. “I was surprised when the announcement of my achievement was made. Yet, I realised that the award reflected the commitment I had made to deliver my best in all that I had to do.”


Carmichael and Henry said that the overall experience was great. “We learned new things and made new friends, in addition to enjoying the hospitality of the Trinidadians,” reflected Henry. Both soldiers agree that theirs is now the responsibility to teach their fellow soldiers the importance of keeping fit, and also, to incorporate the techniques they have learned in helping to train their peers in the Force.


Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips congratulated the newly certified Physical Instructors on their success on the programme. “You have done yourselves and the GDF proud. You have also kept the flag of Guyana flying high. Congratulations!” he said. “I can see that your exposure was well-rounded and that you were prepared to manage physical activity as well as to understand how to plan, officiate at, and manage sports events. I am certain that the GDF will benefit from your knowledge as you ensure that our soldiers are always physically prepared.”


The COS indicated that the GDF remains committed to exposing more ranks to training on this course which is held annually.





The Guyana Defence Force (GDF), this morning, officially concluded its First Phase of Work-study attachment for 146 youths drawn from several city schools, the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme and the Government Technical Institute.
A simple ceremony was held in honour of the students who have all successfully completed the five - week stint. Their attachment was geared towards exposing them to the professional and discipline environment, while at the same time encouraging them to garner general workplace experience.
Staff Officer One, General Five, Major Delbert George, who is tasked with overall responsibility of the Force’s work-study programme, thanked the students for their service over the period and even encouraged them to consider a career with the GDF.

Some of the students with their certificates

“As it is stated in Chapter 15:01, one of the roles of the GDF is to contribute to the economic development of this country. It is with this in mind, that we have forged these partnerships, which have allowed you to be exposed to some of the work we do in the GDF. You should use the experience gained here to ensure you elevate yourselves in your respective choice of profession,” he told the students. Major George also told the students that the Guyana Defence Force is proud to have contributed to their initial work experience.
“May you use this exposure, the knowledge and friendships you have gained during this period to your advantage. Thank you for choosing the GDF for your work-study attachment … We have had former work study students return and are now part of the GDF. You are also welcomed,” he added.
Kernel Williams, a student of the Government Technical Institute was attached to the Refrigeration Workshop at Base Camp Ayanganna. He was one of the many students that were fortunate to have been placed in his field of study. “I have gained a wealth of knowledge during my stint here. It was very interesting. I learnt how to straighten a compressor, service an air-conditioning unit and how to troubleshoot an unservicable refrigerator."
From left Staff Sergeant Rayon Bailey, 2Lt Noel August, Major Delbert George, Major Earl Edghill and Sergeant Kessa Massiah with the studentsThough she intends to pursue a career in Law, President’s College’s student, Colly-Ann Meredith gained valuable experience in the field of Finance during her stint with the Finance Department of the Guyana Defence Force. “I always figured that business was a bit difficult so I hesitated to choose it as my area of study. However, now that I have experienced it at the GDF, I realise how nice this field is. I have learnt how to write cheques, prepare a balance sheet and how to prepare payment vouchers. Most of all I learnt a little about military life through interaction with its personnel. The staff were great and my experience was good,” she stated.
Rashida Pickering, a student of McKenzie High School has been travelling each day from Linden to be part of the work-study experience at the Guyana Defence Force. She is proceeding on a career in medicine and as such her placement at the Medical Centre was fitting. “My experience was great. I was rotated in the different areas of the Medical Centre but I enjoyed the Pharmacy the most. I learnt how to read and interpret prescriptions. That is something I was always interested in. This stint will be helpful to my future endeavours,” she added.
Tyron Rhamanohar of the North Georgetown Secondary School was mostly pleased with his interaction with the military. “I am considering a career with the military and the experiences I have garnered here has given me a little more insight of some of what I could expect. I have learnt a lot about the military and some of what I could endure should I choose to enlist. My five -week stink has been rewarding. The GDF is serious business,” he asserted.

Education Officer Captain Oral Thom with students of the Kuru Kuru Training Centre who also completed workstudy attachment in the first phase

“Understanding the rank structure of the military was interesting for me. I assisted the personnel of the General Personnel Department with filing and updating of files. I also learnt about the recruitment process. The GDF presented to me, a different kind of experience as this organisation is one of a kind. I enjoyed my stint,” stated Stephon John also of the North Georgetown Secondary School.
Phase Two of the Work-study attachment programme commences on Monday July 18th  and will cater for more students of city schools, The Guyana Industrial Training Centre, the GTI as well as the Morgan’s Training Centre. Phase Two will conclude on August 26th.
The Force’s association with the work study programme over the years has resulted in the establishment of partnerships that have been of benefit to many young people who, prior to attachment, would have, of necessity, been considering other career choices.
The opportunities available in the GDF are now known to many students who have experienced the work ethic of the Force.