The Second Infantry Battalion (2BN) of the Ghana Armed Forces, based in the Western Region has started a major preparatory training in internal security tactics towards counter terrorism and the December 2020 polls.
The battalion, which is under the Southern Command of the Ghana Army, will also train its personnel and others in techniques and procedures of crowd management, control and dispersal.
Awareness and procedures
Code-named ‘Exercise Western Shield 2020 for counter terrorism and December general elections, the training, which was launched in Takoradi Tuesday, is to largely prepare troops for election security situations awareness and procedures, test the inter-operability of the security services, and provide insight into tactics.
Other aspects would cover techniques in internal security settings and public safety in the face of threats of terrorism in the sub-region.
At the launch of the exercise, which will last for three days, the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah commended the initiative and said that the exercise will sharpen the skills and enhance the capabilities of the security agencies to deal decisively with any internal security challenges and external aggression.
The security of the Western Region, Western North Region and the country as a whole, he said, remains a collective responsibility; thus, the training exercise has come at the right time. “This I know will enhance professionalism and monitoring of the security situation in Western Region and the country at large”, he underscored.
The exercise is a joint operation by the Ghana Army, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air Force, the Police, Ghana Immigration Service, the Ghana Prisons Service and other sister agencies.
The minister said “Looking at the preparations that have gone into this 3-day counter terrorism and general security training exercise, the high morale among the men and women in uniform as well as the smart turnout for today’s programme, I have no doubt whatsoever in your ability to protect and jealously guard the peace and security of the Western Region and Ghana as a whole.”
Distinction & great pride
Over the years, Mr Darko-Mensah said troops from the country have been called to duty outside Ghana, and have served humanity with distinction and with great pride.
“In all these encounters you displayed nothing but bravery, professionalism and tenacity of purpose in your peacekeeping operations which continue to earn you accolades and international recognition.
He said the dynamics in security situations have changed significantly over time, saying, “The world is now being confronted with heightened threats of terrorism, cyber war, piracy and insurgencies.
Countries that have witnessed and experienced these threats, he said, have suffered loss of lives and damage to state infrastructure, and devastated economies.
“Therefore, the need to forge alliances, share intelligence and be proactive to counter these common enemies has become more urgent than ever before for our own survival and progress.”
The worrying reports of acts of terrorism against Ghana’s immediate neighbours – in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso, and also, as the country gears up for the December 7, 2020, general elections, the minister said required that “we must be on high alert and not lose guard.”
He said it is therefore prudent to collaborate and forge good working relationships with all stakeholders – both state and non-state actors for a peaceful and a stable Ghana at all times.”
He said it’s imperative for various Commanders to ascertain the level of readiness of personnel to combat multiple terrorist attacks in their area of responsibilities, while testing the ability of personnel in operation involving all security stakeholders.
He expressed the hope that the knowledge gained would be particularly helpful, as they conduct internal security operations as well. “With this I urge men and women in uniform to be committed to the exercise in order to imbibe the lessons and skills relevant to the success of their operations.”
He urged members of the general public to be disciplined and share intelligence with the security agencies to enable them to deliver as one people with a common destiny, and nip crime in the bud.
The regional minister pledged the support of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and the commitment and support of the Western Regional Co-ordinating Council (WRCC) towards the success of this exercise and also, to the overall maintenance of peace and security in the Region.
For his part, the Commander Rear, Major Martin Dey said the continent’s dynamic security environment is characterised by great diversity from conventional threats to challenges such as terrorism, piracy, and political violence.
Major, who is also the substantive Second-in-Command of the 2BN, said the Second Infantry Battalion is responsible for the defense of the Western Territories of the country and therefore set to conduct the three day joint multi-agency training exercise on election security, counter terrorism and defend key strategic national installations.
He expressed the hope the exercise would foster joint operations among security agencies, harmonise roles and be relevant in election security.
Source: Graphic Online
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