The Air Force of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has historically commenced long distant flights to resupply the Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT 7) and Ghana Company (GHANCOY 1) in Bentiu and Aweil, respectively, serving with the United Nation Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS), with needed logistics to enable the Battalion and COY execute their mandate efficiently and effectively.
The memorable flight of the Ghana Air Force revived CASA C-295, with registration GHF 552, which landed on Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, incidentally marked the International Peacekeepers’ Day, after covering a distance of 2192 miles or 3528 kilometers East (90 Degrees from North), as the 12-member crew, arrived at the Rubkona Airfield, to jubilation by troops.
Although GAF’s flying corps resupplied the Ghana Army Engineer Company 7 (GHANENGCOY 7), serving with the UN Multi-Dimensional Integrated Stabilization Missions in Mali (MINUSMA) earlier in February 2019, the re-provision to GHANBATT 7 was the farthest the Air Force had undertaken.
The feat, organized with the tacit aegis of the Military High Command, was to enhance the operational, administrative and logistical resources of the battalion in their mandate of Force Protection, operational efficiency and effective administration of troops in their area of responsibility.
The Commanding Officer (CO) of the Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Antwi Awuah Darkwa, deemed the effort a historic show of concern by the Ministry of Defence and the Military High Command to its troops deployed outside the shores of Ghana, adding that, the use GAF’s CASA C-295, projects the capabilities of the Ghana Air Force.
Colonel Awuah Darkwa stated that the resupply had boosted the morale of the troops and reinforced their loyalty to their country and confidence in the leadership of GAF.
The CASA C-295 crew, captained by Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Boadu, who also is the Air Force Director, Peace Keeping Support Operations (PKSO), expressed their delight in making their maiden flight to South Sudan and were happy to bring aid to their comrades in a mission area, especially on the celebration of International Peacekeepers’ Day.
The equipment supplied, which included ordnance stores, communication, engineering, media equipment, maintenance spares, gym and other welfare stores, have positively impacted the South Sudan mission and would also draw a high reimbursement for both GAF as a Defence Force and the country as a whole.
The first distant flight accoutering, with more to follow, has brought positive stirring within the Air Corps, not only for the feat, but also for increased financial space, since the estimated monthly maintenance rates between UN and Ghana, is a generic 2% reimbursement premium for such transportation, including a distance related increment to the maintenance rates.