GDF must be nimble, technologically savvy − President Ali

As annual Officers’ Conference opens

The time has come for Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to be retrained and retooled to better respond to complex challenges which may face the nation in the future.

This was expressed by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who noted that GDF ranks, particularly those posted at the country’s borders, must be knowledgeable about their mandate and should take part in special lectures and classes in schools within their districts.

President Ali addressing the opening of the conference on Wednesday

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces made the statement Wednesday, during the opening of the GDF annual Officers’ Conference, at Base Camp Ayanganna.

“Guyana must never be found wanting when it comes to addressing security threats, whether emanating within or outside our borders. And when I speak about security threats and challenges, I refer not only to what is termed the hardcore threats and challenges,” President Ali stated.

Among other possible issues, Dr Ali noted that the GDF must be able to develop a strategy in relation to food crisis and energy crisis, ensuring that the country is found in a state of readiness.

“If for example, there is a crisis in the supply of fuel and we don’t have fuel for a period of three, four days, we know the consequences of that, and we must not be reactive, because we are identifying that as a challenge now,” the president explained.

Now is the right time for the GDF to capitalise on all the available opportunities, since it has never been positioned in a multinational context than it is today, the president stated.

Opening of the GDF annual officers’ conference, at Base Camp Ayanganna, on Wednesday

To this end, he stressed that the two-day seminar must address the issues by coming up with a specific agenda and manual. The hard copy guide should also be used as a training document for staff.

Acknowledging that capacity building is integral to defense, the head of state also emphasised that the GDF has a responsibility to equip its personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to train others.

The government continues to invest in the technology and equipment to support the work and improve the capabilities of the GDF, through the acquisition of equipment and supplies.

Officers present during the opening of the conference on Wednesday

The goal, Dr Ali asserted, is to have a more nimble, adaptable, and technologically savvy force, rather than a larger force in terms of manpower.

“The assets of the Guyana Defence Force belong to the people,” the president added.

Meanwhile, the conference seeks to make specific, measurable and time-related strategic goals for 2023.

GDF’s Chief-of- Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess said the team plans to review last year’s operational training and administrative successes and challenges, to determine strengths and weaknesses, with hopes to closing existing gaps.