By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Teshie Ridge
“We of the Ghana Armed Forces, have prepared ourselves against any terrorist attack that may seep from neighbouring countries into Ghana, but to do that effectively, adequate information by all is required, for if the security services are not informed early enough, preparations irrespective, such attacks may occur and perpetrators flee, while lives and properties may be affected negatively,” the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Southern Command (S/COMD) – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, has stated.
GOC Brig Gen Nsiah made the remarks at the 2019 Inter-Units March and Shoot Competition of S/Comd codenamed “Exercise Kullum Shirri 2019, on Thursday, the 23rd of May, 2019, held around the Burma Camp-Teshie general area, which saw the Fifth Battalion of Infantry (5BN) crowned champions.
“When it comes to security, it is not the responsibility of a few, it is therefore important that the citizenry being protected, would alert the security services in time, when they have the slightest information that threatens national security,” the General said.
General Nsiah stated that the whole nation’s security against external aggression has been entrusted to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), thus the need to undertake activities to ensure the military’s readiness in combating attacks, so that should the country be attacked, GAF would not be caught unprepared against potential or real national threats and to rest assure the nation.
General Nsiah continued that the world over, training has intensified for all armed forces, because in its absence, the enemy would be ahead, but every force worth its salt, must be a step or two ahead of the enemy at all times, and ‘Kullum Shirri’ had afforded his Units the opportunity to increase endurance, mental robustness, amount of energy exerted at the Obstacle Crossing and the skill at the shooting range, by clearing all the falling plates within record time.
The competition involved all eight units under S/Comd; First Infantary Battalion (1BN), Second Infantry Battalion (2BN), Fifth Infantry Battalion (5BN), Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (Recce), 66 Artillery Regiment, 48 Engineer Regiment, 64 Infantry Regiment and Camp Southern Command (which involves all at the Headquarters and One Field Workshop).
Activities of the contest entailed scores of officers and hundreds of soldiers who took turns in navigating a distance of about 11 kilometres from the Burma Camp Military Cemetery, with a back pack of about 15 kilograms, through parts of Teshie Township, to the Obstacle Crossing at the Military Academy Training Schools (MATS), where they crossed 10 obstacles and continued to the Firing Range for Falling Plates.
The GOC expressed gratitude to both Service and General Headquarters for the goodwill in supporting the contest, as well as to corporate sponsors, urging that such support is much needed to keep the troops in good shape as he revealed plans of moving the 2020 Ex Kullum Shirri to the Asutsuare camp, where the navigation would increase to about 15 kilometers with the troops starting at dawn.
The Director-General, Training, General Headquarters (GHQ) – Commodore Samuel Angmor, who was Guest-of-Honour at the competition, said that the troops exhibited will power in the true fighting spirit of Southern Command – an objective that thrives at best endurance and mental toughness of troops and their application of marksmanship principles with personal weapons, which are extremely important in any profession of arms.
Commodore Angmor continued that apart from sharpening the physical and tactical skill of the soldier, the exercise also sends out a clear message to the general public, an assurance that GAF is well poised at dealing appropriately and responsively with any situation that poses a real potential threat to the peace and stability of Ghana.
Commodore Angmor urged all soldiers to maintain fitness and participate actively in all Unit activities for, an armed force without discipline and training is simply a mob and indicated that Kullum Shirri would remain a part of GAF’s training calendar as it goads discipline in the military, in the nation’s current dispensation.
Commodore Angmor described discipline as a moral, mental and physical state in which all ranks respond to the will of their commander, whether he is present or absent and it is pertinent that discipline involves one’s physical state, referring to the award of the Best Female participant as a testimony that gender balance is taking root in GAF.
From the Ex Kullum Shirri participants, S/COMD would pick its team for the much anticipated biennial “Exercise Tiger’s Path 2019” – a jungle warfare experience – which the Command is the reigning champion from 2017 and plans to retain the trophy.
With the Individual awards, Best Female Individual Rirer went Private Susanne Aidoo of 2BN, who won a certificate of recognition and a cash prize of ₵1,000 and Best Individual Male Firer to Staff Sergeant Koli Dede of Camp Southern Command, who received a certificate of recognition and a cash prize of ₵1,000.
8th place went to 66 Artillery Regiment – with a total mark of 206.39, the 7th place was taken by 1BN – 320.31 pts, 6th place to 64 Inf Reg with 331.08 pts, 5th place to Defending Champions, Camp S/Comd with 368.29, 4th place to 48 Eng Reg with 382.71 pts, 3rd place to 2BN with 392.59 pts, (who took same position in 2018) with a trophy and cash prize of ₵2,000 Cedis, Recce Reg came 2nd with 396.36 pts with a cash prize of ₵3,000 and a trophy, whiles 5BN were crowned champions with 408.56 pts, a giant trophy, cash prize of ₵5,000 and a certificate of honour.
Dignitaries present at the contest included the Director, Army Training – Colonel Teye, the Command Operations Officer and Exercise Coordinator – Col George KT Sam, amongst many.