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The 31 Special Forces Squadron has again proven itself as a force to be reckoned with, following their excellent performance in the second Quarterly Fitness Competition which concluded after two-day of competition, at Base Camp Stephenson.

The 31 SF Sqn. B team performed outstandingly in every area and accumulated a final score of 706, 85.3 % of a possible 825 points to retain their bragging rights as champions of the competition.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Company ‘A’ team drawn from 1 Infantry Battalion (1 INF Bn.), broke away from their normal position to finish second with 682 points, 82.6% of the total.  Additionally, a competitive Training Corps (Trg Corps.) secured the third place position with 670 points or an 81.2. A total of 20 teams, including three female teams competed evenly for the top spot as oppose to 19 at the last competition.

Base Camp Stephenson (BC (S)) female team were the overall winners in the female category while their closest competitor were the training Corps Female team. Chief of Staff (COS), Brigadier General Mark Phillips presented medals, trophies and a small purse to the deserving teams. 

In a brief address, COS Brigadier General Mark Phillips extended congratulations to the coordinators of the event who, he said, contributed towards making the competition a success, while commended the teams for their hard work. Brigadier General Mark Phillips urged the ranks to train harder and make preparations for the next competition which is scheduled to be held in September. He further advised the teams to focus keenly on training in order to demonstrate greater competitiveness in the remaining activities for the year.

Major (Maj) Earl Edghill the assistant co-ordinator the even pointed out difference in the performance of ranks in this competition when compared to the first quarter event. The COS Brigadier General Mark Phillips, said that teams needed to continue training if they were to threaten the champions. In his closing remarks the COS Brigadier General Mark Phillips underscored the origin of the competition which he said was patterned after an actual infantryman patrol and is likened to a number of activities a soldier will encounter and would have to overcome during a patrol.

All teams competing in the Force’s Quarterly Competitions are required to navigate a number of obstacles as in a real war situation, execute a target shoot, climb rope, and complete a medical evacuation, swim and complete a 5k run, among other activities.



Senior Officers with students and Instructor of the Intermediate All Arms Ordnance Course

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) receives its newest batch of store personnel following the recent conclusion of the Intermediate All Arms Ordinance Course (IAAOC) 2016-01, which concludes on June 6, 2016, with a simple ceremony at the Lecture Hall Base Camp Ayanganna (BC (A).
The new batch of store personnel is now equipped with the required knowledge and understanding, to operate and function efficiently and effectively as storemen and storewomen in the GDF in accordance with the GDF IAAOC manual.
The course has enable the ranks to supervise the daily operations of any store in the GDF, apply knowledge to assist the Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant in the execution of his duties. They can also implement and enforce the Guyana Defence Force Material and Stores Regulations, and enforce Government Material and Stores Regulations at the various stores.
Corporal (CPL) Jamaine Fraser produced an outstanding performance on the course and was therefore, adjudged Best Student while his colleague, Lance Corporal (LCPL) Alista Benjamin gained the Runner-up student award for her hard work.

Corporal Fraser and LCPL Benjamin were among 12 ranks drawn from several units across the Forc
e who successfully completed the course.
Commanding Officer Five Service Support Battalion acting (CO 5SSB), Major Roderick Leitch extends congratulation to the ranks and charged them to be accountable for equipment and assets. The CO further charged the stores personnel to embrace teamwork with the commitment to achieving professionalism.
“You should embrace teamwork which will drive your daily commitment to duty and enable you to achieve professionalism. Make the best use of the new experiences and knowledge you’ve acquired from this course to erase the logistic challenges and improve operation in the GDF, Major Leitch said.”
The CO noted that the Army recognized the need for competent ranks who understands the stores system and can efficiently manage operations logistically using the various IT systems that we will implement in the future.
“What we need are ranks who understands the stores system, both the distribution and the importance of timely resupply; ranks who can picture the support system from end to end, who know how to use all the various I.T systems that we will implement to enable operations at all unit levels, Major Leitch added.”
IAAOC 2016-01 covered a period of nine weeks and was conducted at Base Camp Stephenson and Base Camp Ayanganna respective.


COS Phillips receives the General Salute from the Parade

The Guyana Defence Force has officially welcomed 189 new soldiers to its ranks, following the completion of the Basic Recruit Course 2016-01.
The course commenced on March 12, 2016 with 202 recruits drawn from various regions. After 10 weeks of intensive training, 189 endured and graduated yesterday during a parade at the Drill Square at the Colonel John Clarke Military School in Tacama, Berbice River.
PTE Calvin Doris, a 19 year old resident of Belladrum, West Coast Berbice graduated Best Student of the Course. He also won the prize for having the Best Shot. The Runner Up prize was won by PTE Isaiah Rowlins. Prizes were also given to Privates Don St.Hill, Shaquille Smartt and Kemoe Marques for Best Drill, Best Fitness and Best Military Knowledge, respectively.
Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips in his address to the new soldiers congratulated them for successfully completing the course. He impressed upon them the importance of discipline, loyalty, fitness and obedience as they embark on their military careers.” To be a good soldier you must be ready to serve the GDF at locations throughout Guyana. You must understand your rights and duties under military law. You must keep continuing your education in focus at all time as you perform your duties and you must know and uphold at all times , the Values and Standards of the GDF. Remember the word discipline- the importance of self-discipline as you discharge your duties,” he said.
The Chief of Staff also admonished the new soldiers to readily conform to the Values and Standards of the Force, in order to earn the respect of the Guyanese society. “You must commit yourself to serving the people of Guyana. Soon, you will be deployed on
Operational duties to defend our borders and to support our civil authorities and to maintain a high level of public security throughout Guyana,” he added.
The objective of the Basic Recruit Course is to produce a soldier who is fit, obedient, loyal and discipline and possess high standards of Infantry Skills and Marksmanship abilities”.


The United States Embassy, through its Military Liaison Officer Captain Christopher Hill today donated a collection of useful literature addressing Suicide Prevention in the Military.


The donation comes on the heels of a Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) which the Florida Army National Guard conducted with personnel of the Guyana Defence Force on March 7, 8 and 9, 2016. Those sessions were aimed at helping the Guyana Defence Force to develop a tactical programme that applies to military operations, concerning suicide prevention and Force resilience.


The Material which was handed over today includes Training Standards, Leaders’ Guide to Suicide Prevention and a number of pamphlets and information on Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide.


Captain Hill, during the simple handing over ceremony this morning explained that the gesture stems from the SMEE which was designed out of a desire to assist the GDF in dealing with the issue of Suicide, which has become a social ill in the society. “So during that training there was a lot of new material and suicide is a big issue and we wanted to expand on what was learnt during those sessions,” he stated. He pointed out that assisting in building suicide prevention capacity in Guyana is a priority of the current United States Ambassador, Perry Holloway. “So the Ambassador intends to do as much as possible to aid in suicide prevention”.


Force Welfare Officer, Captain Deon Heyligar who accepted the material on behalf of the GDF, expressed appreciation for the timely gesture and pointed to the importance of the information received. “This information will go a far way in helping us to boost the knowledge of our soldiers,” she stated. She acknowledged the good relationship between the US and GDF particularly as it relates to information sharing from a welfare perspective.


A few soldiers were on hand for the handing over and Lance Corporal Andel Douglas registered his eagerness to read and learn from the information which he believes will empower him to recognize certain tendencies and be able to render assistance from his level.


The Guyana Defence Force acknowledges that effective suicide prevention requires everyone in the Unit to be aware of the risk factors for suicide and know how to respond; Commanders, Non Commissioned Officers and Supervisors all play an integral part in this regard.



Joint Services Officers with successful Ranks

The Guyana Defence Force Language Department today graduated the first batch of students drawn from the Joint Services.
A Total of 17 students graduated at a simple ceremony at held Base Camp Ayanganna; 8 received certification in Spanish while 9 received certification in Portuguese.
The content of both courses was geared at developing the students speaking, reading and writing skills at the fundamental level in the respective language.
The students that were offered training in Portuguese are members of the Guyana Police Force Immigration Department while another Five Immigration Officers, one rank of the Guyana Prison Service and one rank of the Guyana Fire Service completed the Spanish Course. Both courses were of a 13 week duration.
Immigration Officer, Constable Daryl Miller was adjudged the Best Student of the Portuguese Course while, Principal Officer (PO) Towanna Wilson of the Guyana Prison Service,  was delared the Best Student of the Spanish Course.

“Im no stranger to Portuguese as I have a relative who resides in Brazil”. The course was excellent and this exposure will be very useful to me as an Immigration Officer who from time to time will interface with persons of different nationalities. Knowing a different language is always essential for us,” stated Constable Daryl Miller.
PO Wilson is also no stranger to Spanish but noted that there were times when the course was very challenging. “Our instructor was very good and did a really good job with us. He put his all into the course. I always wanted to be the Best Student and I worked very hard towards achieving this,” she said.
The instructors of the courses were Civilians Juan Calzado (Spanish) and Janice Fraser (Portuguese).
Commandant of the Guyana People’s Militia and Chairman of the Joint Services Training Committee, Colonel Patrick West, in remarks, congratulated the graduates and urged them to continue to better their competences in foreign languages. He alluded to the dynamisn of the contemporary security environment, noting that improved capacity to communicate was integral. “It is said that when you are bilingual, your cognitive process is further developed,” he told them. He outlined too, a list of benefits of learning a foreighn language. These included, building self-confidence, aiding self-discovery, a keener mind, further development of the ability to multi-task as well as improvement in the first language of an individuall.
Colonel West expressed appreciation to the other disciplined services for responding to the initiative.
The Guyana Defence Force’s G5 Branch, which holds overall responsiblily for Education was also recognised for its efforts in making the course a success.
Also present at the graduation ceremony were members of the Joint Services Training Committee Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Bowman, Acting Prisons Director, Gladwin Samuels, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Williams and Station Officer, Kirklan Harry of the Guyana Fie Service.