A two-day Southern Command Inter-Unit Shooting Competition is ongoing at the Teshie Gallery Range in Accra.
The competition dubbed “Fire storm 2022′ have six units within the Army is aimed at sharpening the skills of personnel of the command to be combat ready to deal with identified and potential threats to the peace and security of the country.
The units include one, two and five Infantry battalions, 66 artillery regiment, Camp Southern command and 48 Engineer regiment.
They engaged in M16 standard riffle and G16 carbine ranging from 70, 100, 200 and 300 meters shoot, pistol shooting, falling plates, amusement shots.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exercise, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Southern Command, Brigadier General Michael AyisiAmoah, said the exercise was an annual event to prepare adequately for exercise Thunder Bolt- an army shooting competition.
He said the exercise was to test the marksmanship skills of a platoon size force on a semi-independent operation, improve individual and team physical fitness and endurance, enhance cooperation, unit pride and esprit de corps among southern command units towards building capacity for joint operations.
He also mentioned that it was to identify potential participants for “team tarantula” in preparation for exercise thunder bolt.
Brig. Gen Amoah stated that “this year’s exercise dovetails into the broad framework of the Ghana Army’s strategy aimed at preparing personnel to respond more effectively to contemporary threats of secessionism, terrorism, vigilantism, illegal mining and possible formation of armed groups to destabilise our country.”
He noted that such activities usually occur in the urban terrain and it was important to note that sharp marksmanship skills would ensure professionalism and minimise collateral damage in the event of lethal engagements with belligerents.
He indicated that neighbouring countries and other countries within the sub-region had experienced some threats, adding that Ghana was fortunate not to have witness any.
However, the GOC said that did not make Ghana immune to such acts and it was, therefore, important the command trains frequently and given the opportunity to test its abilities in order to hold itself in readiness to compact any acts of aggression, and send a clear message to would-be miscreants that Ghana Army was well trained and positioned to deal with all manner of threats.
“Combating the security challenges of the country was a shared responsibility, we must work with other security agencies to improve interoperability which will aid in the fight against the current security challenges,” Brig. Gen Amoah said.
He said without the assistance and cooperation of the general public, efforts by the Army and other security agencies would not yield the desired goals and therefore challenged the unit commanders to find innovative ways of reaching out to the general public to complement the efforts of the security agencies.
He urged the general public to provide timely information about the activities of miscreants and negative elements which will lead to their eradication so as to have a safe environment for the entire citizenry.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU