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General News of Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Source: Capt Linda Oboh

Chief of the naval staff’s conference opens


The 2015 Chief of the Naval Staff Conference was hosted by the Western Naval Command. The event took place at the Elmina Beach Resort in the Central Region of Ghana.

The four-day conference was under the theme: "Resourcing the Ghana Naval Fleet for a more Effective Protection of Ghana's Maritime Domain". The conference took place from Monday 4 - Thursday 7 May 2015.

The conference, the highest decision making body of the Ghana Navy aimed at deliberating on pertinent issues confronting the Navy with a view to issue policies and directives for the guidance and adherence of Commanders and Naval personnel at all levels. The conference was chaired by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, with attendance by the Flag Officers Commanding the Western and Eastern Naval Commands, the Flag Officer Fleet at the Western Naval Command, the Chief of Staff and Directors at the Naval Headquarters as well as Commanders of Independent Units and Stakeholders.

Giving his remarks, the Chief of the Naval Staff reiterated his vision for the Ghana Navy, which is to maintain a professional, well-motivated, cohesive and formidable Naval Force which is flexible and highly responsive in delivering its mandate of a safe and secure maritime domain conducive to the Socio-economic development of Ghana while maintaining the time-tested traditions of the Navy. Rear Admiral Biekro said Ghana's maritime domain was a strategic national asset which must be guarded jealously to ensure that the country derived maximum benefits from it. According to him, his goal was therefore, to transform the Navy into a professional and robust force that meets international standards and capable of dealing with the rapidly changing maritime security dynamics.

He stressed that the purpose of the conference was to review the mandate and capabilities of the Ghana Navy and make projections for the future, especially while operating in a very dynamic maritime environment.

The CNS pointed out that the Ghana Navy remained largely the only security agency which maintains forces at sea to deter criminals and maintain law and order at sea. "The service is charged with the responsibility to defend the seaward approaches to the country, maintain the integrity and sovereignty of the country's territorial waters and enforce the laws of the country at sea including the fisheries laws which are so important to you", he said.

Rear Admiral GM Biekro hinted that the Volta Estuary, which connects the open seas into the land territory of the country, has been a conduit for maritime transgressions. This has prompted Command to establish a Forward Operating Base along the Volta Lake near Sogakope to keep an eye on the Volta Estuary.

The Chief of the Naval Staff commended the Municipal Chief Executive of Komenda Edina Aguafo Abirem (KEAAMA), Honourable Isaac Kwaku Sam, the District Coordinating Director, District Commanders, Senior Officers and Invited Guests for attending the conference and being worthy partners of the Navy.

Capt Linda Oboh 2Gar PRO