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Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, this afternoon awarded on-the-spot promotions and special incentives to eight Other Ranks of the highly professional Three One Special Forces Squadron (31 SF Sqn), and another, from the Force’s G2 Branch. The ranks gained their promotions for exemplary performance and service with excellence.

The eight 31 SF Sqn Ranks were members of the Search and Rescue team responsible for locating and recovering the remains of the Trans Guyana pilot and  baggage handler who died when the company’s CESSNA aircraft crashed in the dense jungle at Olive Creek in the Mazaruni.

In congratulatory remarks, the COS, Brigadier Mark Phillips, said that, the Special Forces Team showed all Guyana that the GDF and its Special Forces were ready. “You have lived up to the Special Forces Motto which was crafted some 30-odd years ago. But it was not the Special Forces alone who were ready; the Air Corps were, as always, ready and relevant in being of service to Guyana and her citizens. The GDF will always be ready to deal with national situations,” he said. “In getting the job done, the GDF persevered. You persevered. We will continue to do the best, the very best we can, with the little we have!” he added. “Today, it is about showing you our appreciation for your collective hard work.

The congratulations followed a brief outline by the Chief of Staff, of the sequence of events leading to the GDF’s involvement in the Search and Rescue. “I received a call from the President and Commander in Chief indicating that I should communicate with the subject Minister for Transport and that we put our resources to work. However, before doing that, I communicated with my personnel in Air Corps and the Special.

Forces and as expected, our troops were ready to go into action. Armed with the relevant information, I then contacted the Minister and indicated that the Force was ready to serve the nation in the unfolding scenario. Today, we thank you and the nation thanks you,” he said.

Earlier, in introductory remarks, Deputy Chief of Staff, Kemraj Persaud, noted that; “... it is not very often that we get a chance to do what we are trained to do, but when we do, we do it at the very best of our ability.”

Those promoted from the Special Forces are: Acting Sergeant Jason Khan who has been confirmed in his rank, Corporal Roland Williams who is now a Substantive Sergeant, Acting Corporal Darwin Archer who has been confirmed in his rank, Lance Corporals Rock Watson and Kleon Chase who are now Substantive Corporals, Privates Timeon McPherson, Ronald Corlette and Alex Williams who have been elevated in rank to Substantive Lance Corporals and Private Michael Hamer who is now an Acting Lance Corporal.

Substantive Corporal Robert Pyle of the G2 Branch was also elevated to the rank of Acting Sergeant.