By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Medo Lines, Burma Camp
Command at the Support Services Brigade Group (Sp Svc Bde Gp) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has changed hands with Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Stanley Brian Alloh handing over successfully to Brig Gen Matthew Essien.
The transfer of reins took place at the Square of the brigade on Thursday, 16th July, 2020, with the Chief of Staff (CoS) at the General Headquarters (GHQ) – Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, deputizing for the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Obed Boamah Akwa, as the Supervising Officer over the changeover.
Delivering his farewell remarks, Brig Gen Alloh quoted author Nicholas Sparks, who said “There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them, but the winds cannot be denied room as they often do to a future that is impossible to ignore”.
General Alloh who was Commander for three Commands of GAF at various times (first commander of the Army Training Command and Commander of the Northern Command), stated that his leadership paradigm was building an excellent relationship with subordinate unit commanders and providing a congenial atmosphere for teamwork; this attribute among a few, formed the pillars of his sustained leadership.
General Alloh who has served GAF for a period of about 37 years, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, after graduating from the Ghana Military Academy (GMA), into the Infantry Corps on 17 June 1983, proceeds on terminal leave and retires in March 2021.
On appointments, Brig Gen Alloh served across various command levels and staff desks through the branches of operations training, logistics and administration in both Ghana and on peacekeeping operations, such as Adjutant of 4 Battalion, Kumasi, Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Army Commander, Company Commander, Directing Staff – Army Combat Training School, Battalion Second-in-Command and a Commanding Officer.
The General also held the positions of Deputy Director in both Administration, Army Headquarters (Army HQ) and Equipment (Plans and Development) – GHQ, Assistant Director-General Personnel Administration – GHQ, General Staff Officer Grade I (Operations and Training) – Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), Director Army Affairs at the Defence Ministry.
General Alloh s a seasoned peacekeeper who has served 11 tours in 7 different Missions/Countries and in 10 different appointments; such as Platoon Commander in GHANBATTs 22/30 and Personnel Staff Officer in GHANBATT 34, all in UNIFIL Southern Lebanon.
He was Company Commander, UNTAC GHANBATT 1, Cambodia in 1994, Chief Operations Officer, ECOMOG GHANBATT 9 in Liberia, UN Observer in UNMOT Tajikistan, Commanding Officer UNAMSIL GHANBATT 10 in Siena Leone, Force Provost Marshal in UNOCI La Cote d’Ivoire, Chief Military Information Officer in UNAMID Darfur, Sudan, Deputy Sector Bravo Commander in UNMIL Liberia, Forces Chief of Staff and the Ghanaian Contingent Commander in UNMIL, Liberia.
The new Commander, Sp Svc Bde Gp – Brig Gen Matthew Essien, entered the GMA as an Officer Cadet with Regular Career Course 29 in 1987, and after twelve months training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS), in the United Kingdom, was commissioned into the Corps of Signals, in December 1989 and posted to the 1 Signal Regiment as a Troop Commander.
General Essien has served in various command and staff appointments, notable among them being Troop Commander, Adjutant, Squadron Commander and Commanding Officer, all in 1 Signal Regiment, Deputy Commanding Officer of Ghana Battalion 5 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with MONUC, Ghana Battalion 5 and Commanding Officer of Ghana Battalion 7 with UNMIL in Liberia.
Brig Gen Essien has been a Deputy and Acting Director of Communications, GHQ, served as the Director Operation and Training, served in the Signal Training School as a Training officer and later as the Chief Instructor, Chief Training Officer, GMA, Directing Staff (Lecturer) and the Director of Studies at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), Deputy Director General and the Director General at the Defence Communications and Information Systems (DCIS), GHQ.
Parting gifts presented to Brig Gen Alloh included from the General Headquarters (GHQ) by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the Army Headquarters by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and the Naval Headquarters by the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS).
Dignitaries present at the event included the COAS – Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Vice Marshal Frank Hanson and the Chief Staff Officer (CSO), Naval Headquarters – Commodore Godwin Bessing (who represented the Chief of the Naval Staff).