01.07.2004 Regional News

160 soldiers pass out after continuation training

01.07.2004 LISTEN

Asutuare (E/R), June 30, GNA - One hundred and sixty young soldiers of the Southern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on Wednesday passed out of the GAF's Asutuare Training Centre after undergoing a six-month intensive continuation training programme to enhance their professionalism.

The training programme - Centralised Young Soldiers Continuation Training Programme - instituted last year by the Command forms part of activities of ensuring highly trained and motivated personnel to add professionalism in all their undertakings.

The programme is crafted for all young soldiers posted to the various units under the Command after their basic infantry training at the GAF's Recruit Training School.

It is aimed among others to improve the soldiers' physical fitness, enhance professional knowledge and confidence to analyse issues and arrive at workable decisions, develop team work attitude and develop leadership qualities that would enable them to assume greater responsibilities under all conditions.

The soldiers were taken through physical training, weapon handling, adventure training, unarmed combat, operating in built-up areas, which has become an emerging trend in warfare, navigation, first aid, regimentation, field training exercises and a two-week jungle training at the Jungle Warfare Training School, Achiase.

Brigadier-General Joseph Boakye Danquah, General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, who performed the closing ceremony for the training told the young soldiers to make good use of the training and to remain committed, faithful and loyal in the protection of the Constitution because their training was funded by the taxpayers' money. He admonished them not to violate the laws of the country, adding that anyone found wanting would be dismissed from the service. Brig. Gen. Danquah noted that Ghana's inability to find its "feet" long after independence was due to the military's involvement in political affairs and called on the soldiers to resist attempts by their superiors to coerce them into subversive acts.

"You must resist and report any such person who approach you to join in a coup. Those days are over and we the military know too well that such endeavours do not aid national development."

"It is incumbent upon all of us to respect the fact that the military, in the ongoing democratic dispensation, is subservient to the civil authority. You must bear this simple truth in mind and be guided accordingly in whatever you do and wherever you will be," he told them. He tasked them to promote peace in the country to aid its developmental process.

Brig. Gen. Danquah revealed that the Command had decided to extend the duration of the course to eight months for subsequent trainees to further enhance professional standards.

He said the courses that would be introduced would help increase trainees' confidence, maturity, and operational readiness and enhance their capacity for employment as full-fledged soldiers.

Lt. Col Thomas Oppong Peprah, Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Regiment said the training had further enhanced the knowledge of the soldiers and would promote esprit de corps in the service.

He said they were ready to contribute their quota to national development with the skills acquired during the training. As part of the ceremony, the soldiers staged demonstrations on their abilities to operate in built-up areas, unarmed combat and obstacle crossing.

Prizes were awarded to those who excelled in the training. The overall best student award went to Private Fred Amoah, while Private Owusu Gyimah was awarded the most disciplined student. Private Abdul Malik was awarded the Best Shot for range work.

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