President vows to secure territorial integrity, curbing maritime crimes during visit to Coast Guard

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Officers and ranks of the Coast Guard along with President David Granger during a tour of a workshop at the Coast Guard Headquarters at Ruimveldt
Officers and ranks of the Coast Guard along with President David Granger during a tour of a workshop at the Coast Guard Headquarters at Ruimveldt

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Acknowledging that there are some challenges in the daily operations of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard, Head of State David Granger has given his commitment towards institutional strengthening of that unit.

During a tour of the Ruimveldt Coast Guard Headquarters on Monday, June 01 President Granger was briefed on what currently obtains, and what is required to bring about optimum results and efficiency.

Speaking to the importance of the Coast Guard, the President said when it was established 25 years ago the maritime threat existed, and today it still exists.

“But, as they say eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for freedom, and one of the most vulnerable frontiers of Guyana is this fore frontier, this coastland and we can only depend on you to protect this entire frontier.”

Reminding the ranks of their role, the President observed that they all have important law enforcement functions in terms of combating maritime crimes including smuggling, piracy and all forms of trafficking.

“These crimes distort the economy, most of the crimes of contraband and trafficking contribute to keeping Guyana poor, and that is why you’re given a law enforcement function,” the President told the ranks.

President David Granger during an interactive session, with Army Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips and Deputy Chief of Staff, Khemraj Persaud
President David Granger during an interactive session, with Army Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips and Deputy Chief of Staff, Khemraj Persaud

Describing the ranks as Guyana’s best and first line of defence against maritime crimes, President Granger pointed out that no other agency can effectively carry out the mandate that rest on the shoulder of the coast guards.

He however, noted that they must not shy away from their responsibility to protect Guyana’s assets, particularly humans and military resources. Equally, the President said it is imperative to ensure that foreign trade is protected while ensuring that citizens feel safe as they traverse Guyana’s waterways.

The Head of State added that while it is important to protect the country’s territorial integrity, the presence of the Coast Guard must be felt in every area.

Speaking on the issue of training, President Granger said it is his view that specialised training must be given on issues relating to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas since Guyana has a very large sea frontier.

President David Granger being briefed on some of the daily operations of the Coast Guard while onboard of one of the Unit’s patrol vessel
President David Granger being briefed on some of the daily operations of the Coast Guard while onboard of one of the Unit’s patrol vessel

Each rank, he said, should have a clear understanding of both land and sea frontier issues. He noted that while the Coast Guard has a role to play, his administration intends to resolve some outstanding border dispute issues amicably.

Meanwhile, the president has assured that under his administration the Coast Guard will be given the much needed attention it requires. Discussions will soon begin in an effort to bring the Coast Guard up to strength in terms of manpower as the possibility of a Reserve arm of the unit will be explored.

Training both locally and overseas would be given much priority while the upgrading of equipment will also be looked at. In the interim, the President called on the ranks to be responsible by taking care of the equipment that are in hand as they have over the years cost the government huge amounts.

“You here in the Coast Guard are not just looking after the rivers, looking after the coastland, you are protecting the future of our country, you are protecting our children’s inheritance, (and) you are protecting the patrimony of this great nation.”

In addition, some of the recommendations, which were made by the Disciplined Forces Commission several years ago, will now be implemented in an effort to address some of the challenges facing the Coast Guard.

President Granger further assured that his administration would continue as long as it is financially possible to provide the resources needed to protect the territorial integrity of Guyana.

While congratulating the ranks for the professionalism shown over the years, the President reiterated the call for every effort to be directed towards the suppression of criminality and to ensure that piracy and smuggling are brought to an end. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

3 COMMENTS

  1. To fellow Guyanese, large amount of Government spending will be directed to the military to safe guard the foreign invested power (investment) in extracting Crude Oil (Resource curse on poor countries).

  2. Coast Guard patrols, in fast boats with Special forces on board,will soon cut piracy.Of course what is needed is real time intelligence to intercept before the crime is committed,We need to move to drones,flown by a well trained air arm of the GDF Not the very expensive drones,a cheaper but still effective variety.I am sure the US will be glad to help us, as the drones can also help in the war against drugs.
    Please no air arm for the GPF,one air arm,properly equipped with some fixed wiing and a couple of Hueys,with spare parts from US surplus ,good for 3 years of operation and drones,will change the face of the protection of Guyana,from gun running the drug threat and piracy now and in the future.Hueys may be expensive to operate but they can multi task unlike these toys the GDF have now,with the exception of the one Huey that they can not maintain,for a lack of parts.Check the Huey issue with any of the GDF past and present chopper pilots.

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