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227 COMPLETE GPM ANNUAL CAMP 2016, AT BASE CAMP SEWEYO.

On Friday August 19, 2016, 227 Reservists of the Guyana People’s Militia, completed the 2016 edition of the Annual Camp at the GPM Headquarters at Base Camp Seweyo. The camp which commenced on August 5, 2016, catered for 336 reservists based at two locations. Apart from the 227 graduated on Friday August 19, 2016 while another 109 Reservists complete their jungle training at the Colonel Robert Mitchell Jungle and Amphibious Training School (CRMJATS) at Makouria, Essequibo, on Sunday August 21 before returning to their various Regions.

 

Addressing the Reservists at the closing ceremony, Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel George Lewis, encouraged them to continue to access and engage in training. “The Guyana Defence Force, is designed to have two working components of both the Regular and the Reserve Force in the Regions. You are that Reserve Force,” he explained. “The Guyana People’s Militia is not the step-child of the GDF, rather you are an integral part of the GDF, we value you and you are also to value the contribution you are making to the development of the Militia and the GDF.

The GPM is growing and developing, and, in the medium term, will be able to fully augment the GDF. Colonel Lewis cautioned the Reservists not to use their training for the conduct of illegal activities. “Your training is to prepare you to defend Guyana, to defend the civil populace. You have not been trained to perform criminal acts, nor to be a threat to the public,” he warned. “We are training you to become competent to help build your regions and to respond professionally to any emergency situations which may occur there. Some of you are eventually going to be trained as auxiliary fire-fighters. Your mission is to build, strengthen and protect your communities and Guyana, when called upon to do so.”

 

During their training, two units of Reservists alternated between the headquarters of the GPM at Base Camp Seweyo on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, and the Colonel Robert Mitchell Jungle and Amphibious School (CRMJATS) at Makouria, Essequibo. They were exposed to Physical Training, Drills, Skill-At-Arms, Field Craft, National Policy, Survival Skills, and special lectures conducted by staff of the GDF’s Force Welfare Department,  the Civil Defence Commission, and the Ministry of Public Health,  where Officers from the GPM serve. Several Reserve Officers served as trainers during the camp.

Participants in this year’s camp are from varying occupations with some being private sector employees, teachers, employees of state enterprises, students, and a student doctor. Their ages range from 18 years old to 34. Twenty-one of these 227 Reservists were trained for the first time in 2015, and returned to join this year’s camp. Aliesa Sankar, of Belfield on the East Coast of Demerara, said that she enjoyed the training so much last year that she decided to return and continue this year. “Last year it was tough since it was my first exposure to the military environment. However, I found the training to be very useful and this year I decided to return once again. It has been much easier for me to adapt this time around and I have enjoyed every moment of it,” she said. Several of the others who participated last year, echoed her sentiments while some of the newer participants said that it was an adventure they want to continue experiencing.  The GPM will also host a TEEN CAMP for youths aged 14 to 16, at Base Camp Seweyo from August 23-26.

 

The Guyana People’s Militia was re-established by Executive Order On December 1, 2015, and Colonel Patrick West is its Commandant. Established as a reserve force of able-bodied men and women to augment the Regular Forces of the Guyana Defence Force, the GPM will be operational across all Regions of Guyana. Citizens all across Guyana are encouraged to become members of the GPM.

 

The reservists were drawn from Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, and are members of Companies which represent each of those regions. Regions 2 and 3 are represented in the 243 Company (Coy), while the 242 Coy represents Region 4. Reservists of Regions 5 and 6 are members of 244 Coy while the Region 10 Reservists are members of 245 Coy.

 
 
 

GDF EXERCISE HOMEGUARD COMMENCES

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.

20 COMPLETE UNIQUE LEADERSHIP COURSE

“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.

 
 

GDF LANCE CORPORAL TOPS PTI COURSE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

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.