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Regional News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Source: Cpl Gilbert Ambaba, Contributor

GAF commences exercise 'Eagle Claws' 2021

Ghanaian Armed Forces Ghanaian Armed Forces

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has set the stage for the commencement of the counter-terrorism training program codenamed “Exercise Eagle Claws 2021” in Hamile and Wa both along the country’s Northern border with Burkina Faso in the Upper West Region of Ghana.

The Exercise which begun on Monday May 24, 2021 under the theme “Consolidating Security for National Development,” will continue at various staging areas in the northern sector of the country and end on Friday May 28, 2021.

On the first day, troops from the 69 Airborne Force and the 10 Mechanized Battalion conducted a rescue mission at Wa while the 153 Armoured Regiment reinforced the Hamile border to help the Customs and the Police repel small arms attack. Troops' fire fighting drills, Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), Medical Evacuation (MEDIVAC) and mine detection drills were also tested.

According to the Exercise Coordinator, Colonel Carl Del-Alorse, the training is a 5-day Field Training Exercise (FTX) envisioned and planned by the military high command to test, train and prepare troops from the Army and participants of the ongoing Operation Conquered Fist (an anti-terrorism operation in the north of Ghana) to ensure efficient performance of the Army’s counter terrorism role.

To this end, “the exercise is being hosted by the Ghana Army in collaboration with the Ghana Air Force as well as other security services in the Operation Conquered Fist Area of Responsibility (AoR) covering the Savannah, Northern, North East, Upper East and Upper West Regions to equip troops with the requisite capacity to respond rapidly and effectively to terrorists and contemporary threats in the AoR and in the various part of the country, when the need arises,” he assured.

The Support Services Commander of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Matthew Essien expressed confidence that participants had imbibed the requisite lessons from the training and would be capable of defending the country and its citizens form any terrorist attacks. He therefore commended them for the resilience and professionalism with which they conducted the exercise while applauding them for their appreciation of the theoretical aspect of the training and the impressive practical application.

He however advised troops to stick to the military concepts of coordination, command and control in order to succeed in their operations, adding that participants and units should take advantage of modern technology and weaponry to leverage on their assigned tasks. Brig Gen Essien emphasized the need for force protection and vigilance in the success of every military operation.

Present to witness the training were the Chief of the the Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Frank Hanson, the General Officer Commanding, Northern Command Brigadier General Mohammed Aryee, the Air Force Base Commander (Tamale) Air Commodore David Akrong. Representatives from the Military and the other security services observed the training.

The simulation training continued on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 in Tumu and its environs where participants undertook other aspects of the training.