Government says it has secured a $300 million dollar facility to fight terrorism on the African continent.
President John Dramani Mahama has tasked the Military High Command to modify their training modules and strategies beyond conventional warfare to effectively combat terrorists.
He said current terrorists activities in Nigeria, the Middle East, and France were ample evidence that they could not be easily defeated by conventional forces.
President Mahama, who was speaking at an end of year West Africa Security Services Activity (WASSA) celebration at Burma Camp, in Accra, therefore, urged the Ghana Armed Forces to step up their military training in readiness for any eventuality.
The event, characterized by merry making, brought together commanders of the tri-service, representatives of other security agencies, former military heads, military attaches, some Ministers of State and representatives of the various units in the Garrisons.
President Mahama, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the GAF, announced plans by the Government to adequately retool and prepare the Armed Forces to perform optimally, in the face of current global security threats.
He said a 300-million dollar facility had been secured to procure modern military armaments including Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), tanks, operational vehicles, helicopters and other aircrafts, to bring the GAF’s UN peacekeeping equipment up to date.
President Mahama also announced that the military would, this year, take delivery of Z-9 helicopters from China-personnel from the Air Force have already undergone training in China in that regard-; and five Sukarno aircraft from Brazil for training and for assault purposes.
He said Ghana was among six countries selected to set up a rapid response force under the proposed Multi-National Joint Task Force of the African Union, in the wake of the threat posed by terrorism. Also, in line with plans to adequately resource the military, President Mahama announced that a new pilot training school, which would be a centre of excellence to train pilots in the sub-region, would be established at Tamale.
He said that the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, which had been upgraded to a university would this year commence a Master of Arts programme in Military Science, while a PHD in the same discipline would commence next year.
President Mahama said facilities at the Ghana Military Academy were also being upgraded to enable the flagship military training school to increase its intake from 100 to 200 officer cadets. He said a 500-bed military hospital to serve both soldiers and civilians in the northern sector had commenced in Kumasi.
He lauded the GAF for partnering the Police in joint patrols to bring crime under control, and also commended the Armed Forces for its exploits in peace support operations the world over. The Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters of the GAF, Major-General Bobinson Saagbul, pledged the commitment of the GAF to discharge their constitutionally-mandated duties in a professional manner.
In the face of the logistical and other constraints militating against the smooth performance of their duties, he said, the GAF managed to perform their tasks creditably in the past year. Maj-Gen. Saagbul expressed appreciation to the Government for its retooling programme for the military despite scarce resources and pledged their loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief.