By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
The Commanding Officer (CO) place at the Army Recruit Training School (ARTS), has successfully changed over from Colonel (Col) Emmanuel Larbi Sarpong Gyadu, to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) John Tenzii, with the former advancing to the Headquarters of the Army Training Command (ATRAC), as the Command Logistics Officer (CLO).
The Handing/Taking Over ceremony was held social-distancing style, at a brief ceremony, at Shai-Hills, on Friday, 3rd April, 2020, and was supervised by the Chief Coordinator, ATRAC – Col Stanley Mezo.
Delivering his farewell address to staff of ARTS, Col Gyadu, under whose leadership, a record 768 recruits had successfully graduated, expressed pleasure in the appointment of his former Second-In-Command (2IC), as his successor, hoping that the new CO would run faster with new energy, driving the vision of the school in particular and the Army, in general.
Prior to his appointment as CO to ARTS, Col Gyadu served Ghana and the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on two different tours; once as a Staff Officer and then as a Military Observer, served as Trainer and Mentor to the Armed Forces of Liberia, and General Staff Officer Grade One at the Headquarters of the Military Academy and Training Schools, but he says “None of the afore-mentioned appointments did I feel accomplished as the CO of ARTS”.
Within Col Gyadu’s period of tenure, which spanned from 17th November 2017, he was accredited with the introduction of water-confidence (swimming), training period Insurance for recruits, Military Law, Test for Illicit Drug use, internal roads face-lifting, Housing/Accommodation Projects, completing renovation works of the Bobee Block and an abandoned block, which now houses 8 soldiers.
Others are improvement in telecommunication signal strength at the Camp, providing Internet services to the school Headquarters, linking all computers at the Headquarters with Local Area Network, linking by Intercom, all offices at the Headquarters and the Medical Aid Post, improvement of security in the Camp, electrification of the camp by up to 100% and acquisition of 150 logs for physical training.
Then there were the construction of the wall in front of Camp, the expansion of the Medical Aid Post to include four (4) wards (general ward, recruits ward, permanent staff ward and female ward); two (2) consulting rooms; an office for the Ward Master; a laboratory; a pharmacy; two large waiting areas; kitchenette; a dispensary; three (3) washrooms and an Oxygen facility with four (4) outlets.
Additionally, there have been installation of air conditioners in the Demo Lines and the quarter guard, commencements of the construction of a 2-bedroom self-contained apartment for the 2IC, a new Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) Mess, a new Quarter Guard, expansion of ablution/toilet facilities – including a 12-seater toilet facility and a 12-cabin bathhouse.
Col Gyadu (known among his peers as ELS), created income generating ventures, such as a cement-block making factory, a sachet water factory, a tractor for hiring, catering services, a pharmacy shop and a grasscutter and crop cultivation, which are all available for patronage by surrounding communities.