By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Sekondi-Takoradi
The week-long multi-service exercise of all Security Agencies in the Western Region, dubbed EXERCISE WESTERN SHIELD, has wrapped up with a Mounted Route March, through the principal streets of the twin-city of Sekondi-Takoradi.
Ex WESTERN SHIELD, which commenced on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020, ended on Saturday, 10th October, 2020, when about 300 security personnel, on vehicles, rode through the streets from the Takoradi Technical University park, to Essipong, back to Takoradi and finally, at the Two Battalion of Infantry (2Bn) Apambire Square.
Addressing security personnel after the show of force, the Special Guest – the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Southern Command (S/COMD) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, called for continued interoperability amongst the services.
The GOC stated that contemporary security provisions of a State, require multi-agency approach in resolving security issues, hence, EX WESTERN SHIELD was designed to foster joint operations amongst security agencies, and that the exercise is relevant within the strategic context of Election Security, as it was intended to harmonize the roles of stakeholders, in the fight against terrorism.
General Nsiah stated that the objective of the Exercise was to create Election security situational awareness; test live interoperability of security services: provide insights on tactics, techniques and procedures of Election security, crowd management, control and dispersal in Internal Security settings in a coordinated, smooth and efficient manner.
“We face multiple threats; from Internal Security concerns like armed robbery, car jacking, election related violence and terrorism, etc, and on this score, it is imperative for us, as Commanders, to ascertain the level of readiness of personnel, to combat these threats in our areas of responsibility, while testing the functions of interoperability among various security stakeholders”, General Nsiah said.
The GOC further indicated that the exercise was relevant within the strategic context of providing insights on tactics, techniques and procedures of Election Security, Crowd Management, Control and Dispersal in Internal Security settings in a coordinated, smooth and efficient manner.
Ex WESTERN SHIELD had four phases of Internal Security Operations, Counter Terrorism Operations, Barracks and Base Defence Schemes and Reinforcement-Drills and the knowledge gained would be helpful to conduct Internal Security operations, as well as prepare for the 2020 General Elections.
The Services who participated in the mounted march were 2Bn, Western Naval Command, Air Force Base – Takoradi, Ghana Police, Ghana Prisons, Ghana National Fire, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Immigration.