By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Bundase
The Ghana Battalion taskforce, set to assume mandate in March 2020 at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has successfully rounded up its concentration Pre-Operational (Pre-Ops) training activities, with a West African Soldier Socialization Activity (WASSA).
The WASSA was held on Saturday, December 14th 2019, at the Bundase Training Camp, amidst exciting Female and Male Battle Order Competition and Stripping and Assembling competitions and various awards to deserving personnel.
The five-weeks Pre-Ops training, which was scheduled to end on 20th December, 2019, had to be curtailed due to important national assignment of monitoring the nationwide District Level elections, due to be held on Tuesday, 17th December, 2019.
Addressing the troops as the Guest of Honour (GoH), the Director, Army Operations – Colonel Omari John Ampadu, challenged the Battalion (GHANBATT 8), to maintain and exhibit same excellence that had been exhibited at the Pre-Ops concentration.
“The Ghana Armed Forces expects nothing but the highest level of professionalism and discipline in the various missions, therefore, you need to work hard and support your commanders to achieve the various Mandates” Col Ampadu urged.
Giving a brief at the event, the Commanding Officer (CO) for GHANBATT 8 – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Robert Sagoe, stated that in accordance with the Ghana Armed Forces Policy on relief, a Warning Order was issued on 2 September 2019, by Army Headquarters, to form UNMISS GH8, as a Task Force to relieve UNMISS GH7 in March 2020.
The CO further stated that a Tactical Mission Leadership Training (TMLT) was organized for the Officers Commanding (OCs) and their sub-unit commanders, from 3 to 15 November 2019, to train Key Appointment Holders of the Battalion, after which the main body of the Battalion assembled at the Camp on Sunday 17 November 2019, for marrying-up, documentation and preoperational training.
At the concentration, the Battalion undertook several activities including female engagement training, cultural display, inter-coy quiz competition, Akwaaba Bash, Field Training exercise among others, lessons taught to troops to make them fit for the Basic Fitness Test (BFT) – which the Battalion recorded 99.9% pass rate.
The GHANBATT, in collaboration with its partners, were able to construct an 8-unit bathroom facility and a Matambo (the Bentui Paradise Matambo), towards the general improvement of the training infrastructure at the Camp, through collaboration with a sponsorship from Mr Isaac Nii Adom Hammond – the Managing Director (MD) of Shika Travel Consult.
At the Female and Male competitions at the Inter-Coy competitions, HQ came 1st, Delta was 2nd, Charlie was 3rd, Most Innovative Cell went to Public Information Cell headed by Sub Lt Agnes Arthur, Best Male Participant Inter-coy Quiz Competition went S/Sgt Baah Afful, Best Female Participant Inter-coy Quiz Competition – Sgt Buckman Mary.
Most Active Officer Participant in GHANBATT Activities – Lt Peter Kojo Dawaye, Most Active Other Rank Participant in GHANBATT Activities – S/Sgt Yeboah Roger Boachie, All Physical Training Instructors awarded for recording the highest BFT pass rate since the inception of UN Peace Operation pre-deployment training, UNMISS GOT TALENT Over All Best – Delta Coy, Most Active Cell – Engineers Cell headed by Lt Emmanuel Adom.
Also present at the WASSA were the teams for MINUSMA GHANENG COY 8 ECOMIG GHANCOY 4.