By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Although away from the hub of activities at this time of the year and in most cases miles away from their homes, ranks of the Guyana Defence Force Coastal Battalion were on Thursday (December 12) awaken to hot coffee and rum served by senior officer as part of Soldiers’ Day activities – the annual luncheon for GDF ranks.
On Thursday morning the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Major Colin Henry and his Deputy successfully spearheaded a day of appreciation for the ranks of the Coastal Battalion based at Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast.
Following the serving of the coffee and rum, ranks opened the day’s activities with several gun shots into the air.
The official ceremony saw skits, dances, jokes and speeches all of which were witnessed by the heads of the divisions and various government organizations.
In his address to the Soldiers, Major Henry acknowledged the hard work of ranks throughout the year. ‘Its times like these that the force has to ensure that ranks are appreciated for their efforts and commitment to the job’.
He said that since the division was established in 2009 there has been many successes in areas of sports, operations and other engagements of the privates within the Coastal Battalion which amounts to over 100.
The Senior Army Officer on a more serious note reminded the ranks under his command that there continues to be new treats emerging with respect to security and called on all soldiers, especially those tasked with ensuring the sovereignty of Guyana’s waterways to be involved in continuous training in order to combat these challenges effectively.
Major Henry noted that the men who served in the Battalion are also responsible for internal stability operation from Charity to Spring Lands. Henry acknowledged that the area is indeed large to supervise, deter illegal activities, conduct operations, gather information, and engage in internal and civil defense operation among other tasks. “It is because of that fact that collaboration and joint operations which the battalion are engaged in with other agencies are very important” he lamented.
The Battalion is also engaged in youth development and empowerment it was noted. Since the development of the unit, Major Colin Henry is the second commanding officer at the helm.
Major Henry said that 2013 was a good and productive year for the unit and pleaded with the privates to ensure that 2014 sees much more energy and successes.
In his charge to the ranks he encouraged them to uphold the good image of the unit and the keep the flag of the unit flying as high as it has been flying since its formation.
He also urged that the cooperation and good relation which exists and which the unit enjoys with the residents, regional authority and all other persons along the Essequibo and other areas to be continued and be strengthened.
Also present at the event was the Welfare Officer of the Guyana Defence Force, Commander of the Police G Division, Region Two Chairman, Head of the Divisional Fire Office and other agencies and organizations in the region.