The Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Annual Officer Conference opened this morning with a renewed pledge from Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan to ensure that the country’s peace and stability remain high on the Force’s agenda.
Describing 2023 as one of the most challenging years for the military, Brigadier Khan said the Guyana Defence Force had to adjust quickly, and change the way it operates to address the challenges that rose.
However, he said that will lessons learned from the challenges, the GDF is now planning more strategically.
“In the main, we continue to operate under increased threats to our territory and at the same time, faced with the challenges of effectively monitoring our air, land and sea spaces. These threats and other related issues, will form the most part of our deliberations over the next 48 hours,” Brigadier Khan noted.
Brigadier Khan said the GDF continues to take note of the trend in global events, citing the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as well as conflicts in the Middle-East. He said the GDF continues to assess the implications for Guyana in the face of those events.
Another challenge that the GDF faced in 2023 was the death of thirteen of its ranks, including the five servicemen who died in a helicopter crash.
He told his Officers that their dedication and commitment to the peace and security of the country cannot be overstated.
“You remain a critical asset to our country’s defence and security posture, the nation is grateful for our service,” he told his ranks.
Notwithstanding the challenges last year, Brigadier Khan noted that the GDF has also recorded a number of successes by forging several new strategic relationships while strengthening existing ones.
He said the GDF has set out a Defence strategy aimed developing a resilient Force, and that will be seen through a number of new initiatives to be undertaken by the force.
During the Officers Conference, the threats from neighbouring Venezuela and the Force’s work in bordering locations will be addressed, as well as the partnerships that the GDF has been building with its regional and international partners.