Military personnel from the Southern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) yesterday began an exercise at Akuapem-Larteh in the Eastern Region to sharpen their skills and be combat ready to deal with potential threats to the country’s peace and security.
Dubbed ‘Kullum Shirri,’ the exercise involves marching and shooting drills interspersed with navigation and tactical works is being organised by the Southern Command of the GAF, would see six units of the Command competing against each other starting from Larteh-Akuapem to Asutsuare Training Camp.
The units are One Infantry Battalion, Two Infantry Battalion (2BN), Five Infantry Battalion (5BN), 66 Artillery Regiment, 48 Engineer Regiment and Southern Command Camp.
At the opening ceremony, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Michael Ayisi Amoah, in a speech read on his behalf by Colonel Emmanuel Appiah said the exercise dovetailed into the broad framework of the GAF’s strategy to prepare personnel to respond more effectively to contemporary threats of secessionism, terrorism, vigilante groups, illegal mining activities and possible formation of armed groups to destabilise the country.
He stated that, the exercise was to test the Command’s capability to carry out detailed planning, execution, command and control of long-range patrols in internal security and counter insurgency setting.
According to him, it was also to test the navigational, obstacle crossing and marksmanship skills of a platoon size force on a semi-independent operation and improve individual and team physical fitness and endurance.
Major General Amoah said the exercise was also to enhance cooperation, unit pride and togetherness among Southern Command units towards building capacity for joint operations and identify potential participants for Exercise TIGERS’ PATH scheduled for later this year.
“The threats of internal security, terrorism, secessionist activities and insurgency especially in neighbouring countries, he explained, were evidence of general insecurity in the West African sub-region.
In most of such situations, the public suffers assassinations, brutalities, intimidation, robberies, hijacking, arson and related crimes that were the main features of insurgency,” he said.
The Army alone, the GOC said could not eradicate insurgency, adding that neither could insurgency be eradicated without the Army.
He reiterated the need for a collaborative effort among units and other sectors through training to test their ability to deal with such threats.
“The operations of the security agencies are intended to assist the Civil Authority to maintain or restore law and order in the affected areas. The Civil Authority and the Security Agencies, especially the Military, therefore needs the support of the general public at every stage of such operations to ensure success.
Consequently, the general public owes it a duty to complement the role of the security agencies by providing us with timely information about the movements and activities of suspected insurgents so that they can be dealt with decisively,” Major General Amoah added.
He said the exercise would further deepen the mutual understanding and cooperation of the roles of all individuals and organisations in national development and enhance the levels of awareness and alertness in an evolving today’s internal security and insurgency situations.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, LARTEH- AKUAPEM