By Capt Akakpo Senanu Edward
Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations and Plans), at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) Headquarters – Colonel (Col) Jason Langelier, has paid a working visit to the Headquarters of Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT) 15 at the INCAL Complex, Kinshasa, to enable him ascertain, at first hand, the understanding of GHANBATT in the entire process and to emphasize the task of the Unit.
Col Jason Langelier who oversees the Force Drawdown Plan, said his visit, which took place on Tuesday 21st May, 2019, was to enable his office ensure that troops were well taken care of, to enable them effectively play their roles towards achieving the core mandate of the MONUSCO mandate, as GHANBATT would constitute a military-level quick reaction and projection force for the mission in the Western Sector-MONUSCO area of influence.
Col Langelier, in a meeting with Commanding Officer (CO) of GHANBATT 15 – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Sebastian Abraham Arhin, Chief Operations Officer (COO) – Major (Maj) GM Agboado and key appointment holders of the battalion, advised them on the need for greater integration of women, rather than a token participation in the military and society at large.
“Women are important in the force because they provide a different perspective to solving issues, for the people we are dealing with will be more responsive to men in certain circumstances but be more responsive to women in other circumstances,” Col Langelier opined and added that having more women in leadership roles would inspire other women to take on bigger responsibilities, and thus multiply the battalion’s capabilities.
Col Langelier further underscored the need for Units in the theater, to empower their Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), by providing them the opportunities for professional development.
“If you give them the analytical skills, ability to judge and to make decisions at the junior leadership level, that is what will make you a force to reckon with”, the Canadian Armed Forces officer posited and urged commanders to ensure troops remained motivated and made to understand that their contribution to the peace process in DRC makes a difference and was valued.
Col Langelier later presented a book titled ‘Out Standing in the Field’ to all women, which was received by Sergeant (Sgt) Eghan Dorothy on behalf of all women of the battalion. The book authored by Canada’s first female infantry officer Sandra Perron, chronicling her experience, her show of fortitude and patriotism in service to the military and the nation.