As the Guyana Defence Force prepares to observe its 55th anniversary later this year, President David Granger today expressed satisfaction with the development of the GDF under his government’s watch.
Speaking to Officers of the GDF at the opening of their annual conference, the President, who is himself a retired Brigadier, explained that all departments of the GDF have undergone development changes with the support of his government.
“The Defence Force, today, is a superior organization to what it was five years ago. Public confidence in its capabilities has been restored. National defence, as a consequence, has improved. These improvements will continue over the next ten years”, Mr. Granger noted.
He said efforts have been ongoing to ensure a better-equipped and well-trained military.
“The Force’s recapitalization programme has been boosted by increases in Central Government’s budgetary allocations. The Force has received financial resources to improve its capabilities. Budgetary allocations increased by more than 72.7 per cent from G$ 8.04 B in 2014 to G$13.9 B in 2019. Defence cooperation has allowed the Force to benefit from donations of equipment, training and participation in military exercises with friendly states. It has enhanced cooperation in combatting transnational crime and managing disasters”, the President said.
President Granger also spoke about his government’s Decade of Development plan and said it includes investments for the development of the military. The Decade of Development plan focuses on infrastructural and human development across the country with funding from the oil sector. It will also encompass the military and strengthen border security.
“The Coast Guard has the primary responsibility for safeguarding the country’s maritime zone and to protect investors operating there. The Coast Guard’s fleet and personnel will be increased, continuously, to provide greater security of economic activity in the EEZ. Technological improvements will allow for better surveillance and policing of our maritime zone, Mr. Granger said.
He added that the improvement of border security must be done to assure foreign and local investors of the protection of their investments
The President said as Guyana enters a transformative stage in its development, the Guyana Defence Force at the institutional level should take advantage of the transformation that will be happening across the country, reminding that the protection of the country’s national patrimony remains paramount.