[www.inewsguyana.com] – President David Granger is calling on the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to plan for “Total National Defence.” Speaking to officers at GDF Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna yesterday, the President and Commander-in-Chief made reference to the ongoing border controversies involving Venezuela and Suriname.
It was noted by the President that the age of very “visible warfare”, in the form of harassment on our borders or the intrusion of gunboats into Guyana’s waters has not yet subsided.
According to Granger, “to survive in such a race means that there must be a plan for ‘total national defence.’ This, he said, “implies that all the elements and instruments of national power need constantly to be employed in order to protect our territory.”
“Guyana, in light of the injunction of the national Constitution, the counsel of the Committee and the aggressive persistence of these territorial claims, now needs to carefully define its policy for total national defence. Guyana needs a well-commanded, well-trained, well-equipped defence force with the core capabilities to keep our citizens safe and secure. The GDF, in order to fulfil its mission must be multi-role, flexible and fully-integrated with sufficient support weapons,” said the President.
Granger said that for GDF to be prepared for any intrusion, it needs some core strengthening in the areas of personnel, equipment, morale, infrastructure and readiness.
In light of these needs, the Commander in Chief, announced the restructuring of the Defence force with the restoration of several key positions. These include Adjutant General, Quartermaster General and Inspector General.
“Other changes are necessary to enable the GDF to fulfil its Constitutional mandate and to perform its functions. These changes must be designed to develop the Force’s capability to provide continuous surveillance over Guyana’s air, territorial and maritime borders and approaches, to provide search-and-rescue services to persons in distress and to provide assistance to the civil authority in response to any threat or disaster,” the President stressed.
Further greater emphasis is to be placed on divisions such as the Air Corps, Coast Guard, Engineer Corps, the army Reserve, and the National Cadet course.
Also the Civil Defence Corps will be established to support the work of the Civil Defence Commission in responding to and managing disasters.
The National Cadet Corps is to be re-established to allow boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 years in secondary schools to pursue part-time training to prepare them for adult life.