You are here: HomeNews2020 09 01Article 1047670

General News of Tuesday, 1 September 2020


‘Exercise Western Shield 2020’ begins ahead of Dec 7 elections

File photo File photo

The Second Infantry Battalion (2BN) under the Southern Command of the Ghana Army has commenced preparatory training in internal security tactics, techniques and procedures of crowd management, control and dispersal.

The training is to largely prepare troops for election security and public safety amidst the threats of terrorism in the sub-region.

The preparations involve three-day counter-terrorism and multi-agency interoperability training exercise dubbed ‘Exercise Western Shield 2020’.

It is aimed at allowing forces, units or systems to operate together.

The Commander Rear of 2BN, Maj. Martin D. Dey, said the exercise is to ensure that members of the general public are made aware of the intended exercise in order not to create any panic.

“Every year we prepare for elections knowing that it is an important mechanism in democratic and peace processes. Our purpose and preparedness like any other election is to provide citizens with an opportunity to go through the electoral process in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“The unit decided that prior to the ground launch of the exercise slated for October 6 to 9, 2020, the need to educate the public in the Western and Western North regions to be aware of the exercise which is normal and part of our core training,” he said.

The training, he added, “is important as it fosters cooperation required among stakeholders of security to share common guidelines and procedures in election security management.”

The outlined training would involve drills in Internal Security (IS) Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), comprising Election Security Joint Operation Centre (ES-JOC) procedures and troops’ internal security operational responsiveness.

“Other areas to be covered include the defence of Key/strategic Installations, Internal security operations legal requirements among others. It involves movement of troops and the use of blank ammunition with few explosives in controlled areas.”

He explained further that the continent’s dynamic security environment is characterized by great diversity from conventional threats to challenges such as insurgencies, terrorism, piracy and political violence among others.

Major Dey, who is himself a combat officer, made reference to some West African countries in the Sahel Region that experienced political violence in recent pasts, while others are grappling with threats of terrorism on their soils leaving several innocent lives perished.

The threat, he said, mainly comes from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) and its associated groups which are fixated on their intent of demonstrating capability and increasing influence within the West African States.

“AQ-M mainly operates in the Sahel Region which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, but the threat may extend to other neighbouring countries in the region. This is according to an assessed intelligence report with Cote d’Ivoire recording the second terrorist attack against its sovereignty on June 11, 2020; and in Ghana, we are not an exception,” he said.

“We at the Second Infantry Battalion (2Bn) has military operational responsibility over Ghana’s Western territories comprising Western and Western North Regions to ward off external threats like terrorism,” he said.

Join our Newsletter