By Mustapha Jallow
The Gambia Armed Forces have conducted a training session for its members on intellectual competence. This ceremony was held at the GAF Joint Officers’ Mess in Kotu, on 7 August, 2017.
The aim of the study period is to broaden the intellectual competence of the participating officers on contemporary security, social, political and economic issues of the society.
It also covers refresher lectures on number of key military subjects aimed at energizing the professional capacity of the officers. Senior commanders were present at the gathering.
Lieutenant General Masanneh Kinteh, the country’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), said the training will help the soldiers to perform better within their constitutional mandate.
He said that such events in the Armed Forces are not merely customary but a necessity for their professional development. He added that in peace time, the main efforts of the army should be education and training to build capacity and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles.
“The military wholly and surely is answerable to civil authority. The privilege given to us by this government to develop ourselves along professional lines is what is existing in democratic states the world over,” he said.
Kinteh said the study period will develop the competencies of the soldiers intellectually and professionally in order to play their role in defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty as spelt out in the Constitution.
The military chief said that military in any nation is saddled with the distinctive responsibility of defending and preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state. He further said that it also remains a vital instrument in the hands of the state in the management of the international system and promotion of their national interests.
“This officer’s’ study period is one of its kind amongst other training activities organized to develop intellectual and professional competencies of the officer corps of Gambia Armed Forces,’’ he said.
‘‘As we are all aware, no nation can develop fully without security, essentially, therefore, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to jealously guard the peace and stability that the Gambia is known for. Looking at the course time table, you will find an attempt to dovetail as much as possible areas of great importance for your exposure and awareness. I am convinced lessons learnt here throughout this period would in no doubt go a long way in helping you reconnect with the current realities of today’s governance structure in the new Gambia,’’ he said.
For her part, the Women’s Affairs Minister and the Overseer of the Vice Presidency, Mrs. Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, assured that the government will endeavor to train not only officers but all classes of soldiers in all fields of study in order to ensure security in the country.
‘‘The Gambia Armed Forces has had their larger responsibility been taken by the ECOMIG forces since January due to lack of confidence in them by the new government following the exit of the former president Yahya Jammeh,’’ she said.
She said that her government values its citizens in uniform and very much clear with the belief that the future and lasting security of our beloved country lies in the hands of no other Forces other than her own sons and daughters.
‘‘Your loyalty and support to this government cannot be better demonstrated than the level of your cooperation with ECOMIG. Therefore, if you execute your constitutional duties honestly within your limits, you will not only reap the fruit of your labour in this world but also in heaven,’’ she said.
The Overseer of the Vice Presidency, however, said: ‘‘We will support your endeavour to train not only officers but all classes of soldiers in all your fields of study. We will not hesitate to honour your invitations for similar occasions and will continue to encourage you to keep up the good work at all times. The government of the day is proud of you and will stand by you at all times in the execution of your constitutional roles.’’