By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
The Army of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has launched its annual ARMY WEEK CELEBRATIONS with a spectacular all-security services 10 kilometers route march, to reinforce the bond of friendship existing between Ghana Army and sister security services and to exercise, to test endurance and fitness levels.
The march, which took place on Friday, 13th September, 2019, started from the El-Wak Stadium through Kawu kudi Junction, onto the Kanda Highway, North Ridge, to the Ring Road, through Ako Adjei Intersection, along the Liberation Road, to Christ the King Church junction, through Cantonments and back to El-Wak, with about 1,340 security personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Prisons, Immigration, Fire Service and the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Addressing the troops after the march, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Major General (Maj Gen) William Azure Ayamdo – who presided over the launch, together with the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Obed Boamah Akwa, stated that the celebration is not so much a festivity, but an occasion to showcase and reinforce Ghana Army’s achievement over the years so that the Ghanaian, whose tax the Army thrives on, could appreciate them better.
General Ayamdo added that the activities are also to boost morale further, to reinforce team building among personnel, and give recognition to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the course of duty, “It is indeed a pause to look back at how we have lived up to our mandated roles and how we want to cross the many rivers ahead in the years to come”, the experienced paratrooper intimated.
“With the expansion of our democracy and economic development, certainly, trend of threats will change to become more challenging, however, we in Ghana Army will redesign our systems and constantly rethink, to provide appropriate responses, to assist to keep our country safe”, Maj Gen Ayamdo concluded.
The celebrations, themed ‘Ghana Army: Providing Security for National Development’, will take place across all units in the Garrisons of GAF, in various forms, but would mainly have activities such as a wreath laying ceremony to honour fallen heroes, organize a symposium and a military tattoo with some military set drills.
There will also be a march and shoot exercise, a clean-up exercise, a tree planting programme in the Northern Region for reforestation with by the Forestry Commission, a General Parade and finally an interdenominational religious parade.
The Ghana Army Headquarters has about six infantry battalions and a formation (Army Training Command – ATRAC) positioned at various strategic locations nationwide, namely; 1BN – Michel Camp, 2BN – Myhauong Barracks, Takoradi, 3BN – Liberation Barracks, Sunyani, 4BN – Ouadara Barracks, Kumasi, 5BN – Arakan Barracks, Accra and 6BN – Kamina Barracks, Tamale, with their supporting regiments/units.
It must however, be stated that there is the Airborne Force attached to 6BN but that unit is not under the Air Force but the Army.
The Army employs various means to help GAF execute her constitutional mandate of protecting the country’s territorial sovereignty from external aggression, whether by land, sea or air, and also assists the Ghana Police Service – who are statutorily mandated to keep internal peace – if they are overwhelmed in an operation.
Besides the Armed Forces actively assisting in the advent of any disaster – natural or caused – they also help in protecting the environment and water bodies and, through its Engineer Regiment, have highly competent personnel who are capable of building roads, bridges of any kind and rescue operations, etc.