By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Gondar Barracks
The Commander-In-Chief (C-In-C) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and President of the Republic of Ghana – His Excellency (HE) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has presented forty (40) more COBRA II Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to GAF, to help perform their constitutional mandate of preserving the territorial integrity of the country.
The presentation took place at the Abugah Square of the 153 Armoured Regiment, Gondar Barracks, Burma Camp, on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.
Speaking before the commissioning of the vehicles, the C-In-C said that the presentation is in fulfillment of a promise made on 5th of December, 2019, and stems from a commitment to equip and modernize the Armed Forces, to perform to the best of their capabilities.
HE President Akufo-Addo, further intimated that the COBRA II APCs, according to military standards, are very strong and versatile armoured vehicles, and would help contain even better, the security threats posed at the country’s Northern borders, as well as provide the necessary protection for her Western and Eastern Frontiers.
Commending the Officers, Men and Women of the Armed Forces, for the work they do on a daily basis, to protect the territorial integrity and stability of Ghana, the C-In-C further urged them to use ongoing measures, such as Operations Conquered Fist and Motherland to create a secure, peaceful atmosphere at the North-Western, Northern and North-Eastern borders of the country and also to contain so-called secessionist activities along the Eastern Frontiers.
The President urged GAF to continue to collaborate with the National Security, Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Ghana Revenue Authority, as well as all relevant Ministries and agencies, to ensure that a robust disposition is maintained, that will deter potential aggressors, who may attempt to derail the political and socio-economic gains, chalked so far.
The Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Honourable Dominic Nitiwul, emphasizing the Administration’s determination to resource the Armed Forces, said the Armed Forces has been resourced with Seventy-Three (73) APCs, besides many other vehicles, within the last three years and these were procured in three batches.
Recounting, the Minister said the first batch of 3 vehicles were procured in 2018 for use by 153 Armoured Regiment in Accra, the second batch of thirty vehicles in 2019 to form the nucleus of 154 Armoured Regiment in Sunyani, and the last batch of forty vehicles forming the nucleus of 155 Armoured Regiment in Tamale was procured in February 2021.
“The Ghana Armed Forces continues to benefit through various interventions, to re-equip and re-tool the force, to carry out its mandate, amidst threats of aggression within the country and the sub-region as a whole. Combating these threats requires real time surveillance capability, high mobility, force protection, fire power and effective communication” Minister Nitiwul said.
The COBRA-II, a vehicle specially designed to give protection to ground troops against mines and small arms fire, is a 4×4 Drive General Purpose Tactical Wheeled Armoured vehicle, which are manufactured in Turkey by OTOKAR, to meet the needs of modern Armies, with a winch also fitted to enable the vehicle to self-recover itself and others when stuck.
Present at the event included the Ministers for Interior and National Security – Mr. Ambrose Dery and Mr. Kan Dapaah, respectively, National Security Advisor – Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, the Chief of the Defence Staff of GAF – Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Army Staff – Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, Chief of the Air Staff – Air Vice Marshal Frank Hanson.