By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Tamale
The Ghana Army and Air Force, have rounded up their five-day anti-terrorism training exercise program – EX EAGLE CLAWS, after having trained all their Units who oversee the five northern regions in Ghana.
The last practice, was in the morning of Friday, May 28th, 2021, of a terrorist attack on a hotel scenario, and was held at a major hotel in Tamale, which is well patronized by foreigners,.
Also participating were the Ghana Police Service’s Formed Police Unit (FPU), Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the National Disaster Management Organization and the National Ambulance Service (NAS), whiles a number of personnel from the United States Army, which had been with the exercise throughout, as invited Observers.
Overall supervision of the program was the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Moses Mohamed Aryee and the Commander, Support Services Brigade Group – Brig Gen Matthew Kwesi Essien.
Overall, it became apparent that the exercise had been instituted at an opportune time, considering the acts and effects of terrorism around Ghana’s neighbours, and that cutting-edge training and equipment are needed for all the elements of OPERATION CONQUERED FIST – which is operated along the Northern Frontiers and that communities along these frontiers, which are likely to be first-hosts to any would be terrorist agents, to know why and how to report such actors to the rightful persons.
Additionally, the second-year running tactical-level training exercise, had gotten the better of the required skills from the military, police, immigration, Customs and fire-fighting personnel, but for a few hitches, which was to be expected, which are to be further dealt with at the unit-level.
It was also apparent that the Ghana Army, has spread itself thin in the northern parts of the country, with the establishment of the Ten and Eleven Mechanized Battalions in Wa, Upper West and Bazua, Upper East, respectively, the 6 Battalion of Infantry (6Bn), Tamale, turning the green-bereted Airborne Force, Tamale into 69 Airborne Force, as Special Forces, and the establishing of the 155 Armoured Regiment at Damango, in the Savannah Region, thus, response-time to any eventuality, would be considerably reduced.
All these Army elements, teaming up with the Air Force Base, Tamale, were active in the EX-EAGLE CLAWS ’21, with their Commanding Officers (COs); Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Francis Gyimah, Lt Col Michael Mintah-Agyeman, Lt Col Benjamin Kofi Boamah, Lt Col Kwesi Adum-Attah and Lt Col Aaron Richard Osei were ever present even when their Units were not practicing.
The Instructors for EX EAGLE CLAWS were Colonel (Col) Bernard Baba Pantoah, Col Carl Dei-Alorse, Lt Col N Dakwah, Lt Col Ametame, Lt Col A Seidu, Lt Col G Mawah, Major Martin Dziedzorm Dey and Major K Owusu-Gyimah and the Umpires were Lt Col M Ayawine, Major E Tekpetey and WOI K Golomeke.