2 Infantry Battalion (2Bn) emerged Champions of Ghana Army’s (GA) Southern Command (S/COMD) Inter-Unit Shooting Competition dubbed “Ex FIRE STORM 2022”, a contest tailored to sharpen the skills of troops to be combat ready, to deal with identified and potential threats to the peace and security of Ghana.

The two-day marksmanship contest was held on Tuesday to Wednesday, 2nd and 3rd August, 2022, at the Teshie Gallery Range, Accra, where 6 Units under S/COMD (1, 2 and 5 Infantry Battalions, 66 Artillery and 48 Engineer Regiments and S/COMD Camp) each presented a Platoon for the firing drills.

The final day of the training exercise saw the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders – Major General (Maj Gen) Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Issah Adam Yakubu and Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Frank Hanson, respectively, present at an exercise which had Sections and Squads show marksmanship skills in Rifle Standards, Carbine, Pistol and Falling Plates, at distances varying from 300 to 25 meters.

The objectives of the exercise were to test the marksmanship skills of a platoon size force on a semi-independent operation, improve individual and team physical fitness and endurance, enhance cooperation, unit pride and esprit de corps among S/COMD Units towards building capacity for joint operations, and to identify potential participants for the Command in preparation for GA’s upcoming ‘Ex THUNDER BOLT 22’ – a GA firing competition.

The setting of the competition was some of the identified threats to Ghana’s Internal Security, such as terrorism, violent extremism, secession and insurgency with possible formation of armed groups for destabilization purposes.

Citing his vision – to produce a highly motivated, well trained and well-equipped Army with quality Officers and Soldiers to achieve the task of the Army – as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Maj Gen Oppong-Peprah stated in his remarks that such a vision could not be achieved without undertaking vigorous training in competitions such as ‘EX FIRE STORM’.

The Army Commander cited the menace of illegal mining on and astride some major water bodies in Ghana and the threat of terrorism, as phenomena that do not only threaten the existence of the current generation, but also the future survival of Ghana, and that it is imperative to conduct such healthy competitions within GA, to raise levels of readiness to overcome current and emerging threats and promote a high sense of esprit de corps.

He stated that although Ghana has not experienced Violent Extremism and terrorism, as her neighbours have, it does not immune Ghana, but rather becomes imperative that GA and all security agencies train adequately and frequently, and be helped by their civilian counterparts and the mass media, in passing timely information on strange happenings that could hamper the peace, for prompt redress.

“Firstly, it is important that Units train and work together to efficiently tackle the current trends of insecurity. Secondly, as part of the Army, we must work with other security agencies to improve interoperability which will aid the fight against the current security challenges. Lastly, I wish to state that without the assistance and cooperation of the general public, efforts by the Army and other security agencies will not yield the desired goals”.

“I therefore challenge all Unit Commanders to find innovative ways of reaching out to the general public and work together to combat the threats of insecurity, this would send a clear message to would-be miscreants that Ghana Army is well trained and positioned to deal with all manner of threats”, General Oppong-Peprah stated.

2Bn took the Overall Best Team with 2218 points, 2nd was Southern Command Camp with 2041 points, 3rd was 5Bn with 1866 points, 4th was 1Bn with 1614 points, 5th was 66 Arty with 1597 points and 6th place was 48 Engr Regt with 1437 points, whiles Overall best Male Shot was won by Warrant Officer Koli of S/COMD Camp.

Other dignitaries present included the Eastern Regional Minister – Mr Seth Acheampong and the Paramount Chief of Teshie – Gbetsoolor Nii Ashittey Akonfra III, amongst others.

By Kofi Ampeah-Woode


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