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General News of Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Ghana Navy Ready For Pirates

Rear Admiral Quarshie, Chief of Naval Staff, has signalled Ghana Navy’s readiness to effectively carry out patrol to secure the country’s territorial waters against maritime security threat including hijacking of ships.

According to him, the navy was well positioned to show presence at sea based on what he described as tremendous enhancement of operational capability of the Ghana Navy due to the nation’s interest in the maritime sector.

“In the year 2012, we witnessed a tremendous enhancement of operational capability of the Ghana Navy. Six fast patrol boats- four from China and two from Germany- and the slipway at the Naval Dockyard at Sekondi, were commissioned for service with the Navy,” he said.

Rear Admiral Quarshie, speaking as guest of honour at Tema Eastern Naval Command’s annual West Africa Security Service Association (WASSA), assured the nation that the navy was now well-resourced to carry out its patrols and other activities against the myriad of maritime security threat such as armed robbery, hijacking and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).

WASSA is an annual celebration to take stock of achievements as well as shortcomings to identify areas where they could have improved, in a bid to prepare, both physically and mentally, to accomplish roles and responsibilities in the coming year.

The occasion was also used to reward personnel of the Eastern Naval Command and civilians employees who distinguished themselves in the discharge of their duties last year.

The Naval Chief of Staff further said resourcing of the Ghana Navy by the Government was timely, as the commercial production of oil in the nation’s waters had raised maritime domain awareness in the country and increased the nation’s interest in the maritime sector.

“I am convinced that that we will live up to expectation and ensure the stability and security that will facilitate the prosperity of our dear country Ghana,” he emphasized.

He said although the navy was having accommodation problems, especially at the Eastern Naval Command, the challenge was being tackled by higher the command.

He acknowledged the generous support and cooperation from some public institutions and private companies to the Eastern Naval Command in the Tema metropolis and beyond.

The Eastern Naval Command began the WASSA with a cleanup exercise to desilt and fumigate some choked drains in the Tema metropolis.

The command also cleaned the choked Chemu Lagoon at Tema Newtown which has been turned into a dumpsite by some residents.

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