By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Wajir Barracks, Teshie Ridge

The Engineer Training School (ETS) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has been given a shot in the arm, with the commissioning by the Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, of a 128 capacity students’ accommodation block, with dining and kitchen complex.

The commissioning ceremony, which took place on Thursday, January 16th, 2020, is to improve the management and administration of the students and overall learning, and to open the way for students from sister Armed Forces in the sub-region, to attend courses at the school.

ETS had been grappling with accommodation challenges, which made all courses run by the school non-residential, especially for personnel living in 1 and 5 Garrisons of GAF and the only accommodation prior to this, was a room at the Young Soldiers’ Accommodation area, at 48 Engineer Regiment, which could house a maximum of 30 personnel.

The Federal Government of Germany, through the German Armed Forces Technical Advisory Group (GAFTAG), thus entered the fray and constructed the 128-capacity facility for the school, which will make all the courses offered at the school to be residential.

The 28 years of the ETS as a training institution, has seen great support, in terms of infrastructure and equipment, from a bilateral relation that commenced in 2002, between GAF and the German Government/German Armed Forces, with the aim of providing logistical and constructional support, for peacekeeping purposes, especially in the ECOWAS Sub-Region.

The commissioning also included a 30-seater Mitsubishi Coaster Bus, an installed new state-of-the-art heavy duty machines for the Wood Construction Technology Workshop of ETS, which were all from GAFTAG.

The ETS, a Ghana Education Service Accredited institution for Technical Examination, as well as the National Board for Professional and Technical Examination for the Construction Technician Courses, provides technical training in combat and constructional engineering, to all ranks and civilian employees, in the GAF educational structure.

Messer’s ADDLA ventures were the contractors of the project, while the furniture in the rooms; beds, tables and wardrobes were formed by the staff and students of the Wood Construction Department, with the underground water tank also being constructed by the staff and students of the Building Construction Department as part of their practical/project works.

GAFTAG also financed the construction of a 200-meter sandcrete wall at the rear of the school premises, block factory a heavy equipment and trucks garage, a 200-seater auditorium (Jurgen Kuntz auditorium named after GAFTAG 1″ leader), donation of assorted heavy Engineering equipment, trucks and low-bed, and learning tools a 30 personnel room at the young soldier’s accommodation area at 48 Engineer Regiment.

Two major pontoon construction and motor boat operation training, was sponsored by GAFTAG, at the Akuse Watermanship Training Camp with accommodation, whilst one officer was sponsored to study Multinational Company Commanders seminar and International Leadership Training of Military Engineer Advisors/Leaders course at the German Engineer Centre Of Excellence (their ETS), Germany.

MATS sponsored the connection of the project to the main power supply lines at GAFCSC sub-unit, which consisted of erecting 5 new poles and new overhead wiring amongst others, whilst GAF also procured 68 mattresses and more crockery and cooking items, to add up to the items provided by GAFTAG.

Minister Nitiwul pledged to provide a television set worth GHS 10,000, for use at the dining hall of the new construction.

The Commanding Officer (CO) of ETS – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Ernest Nyuur, urged that since the school has the capacity to undertake some construction works, GAF would also consider awarding some works to ETS.

Present at the ceremony were the German Ambassador to Ghana – His Excellency Christoph Retzlaff, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) OB Akwa, Chief of the Army Staff – Major General (Maj Gen) William Azure Ayamdo, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) – Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Seth Amoama, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Frank Hanson and the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters (GHQ) – Maj Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah.

Additionally present were, the Commandants, Military Academy Training Schools (MATS), Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) – Maj Gen William Omane-Agyekum, R/Adm Moses Beick-Baffour, Maj Gen Francis Ofori, respectively and the head of GAFTAG – Lt Col Martin Wagner and Directors-Generals at GHQ.

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