President Irfaan Ali, this morning urged Officers of the Guyana Defence Force to always be ready to respond to security challenges that may arise.
Delivering the feature address at the Opening of the annual officers’ conference this morning the President said Guyana must take stock of security threats in other countries and prepare itself. He said with issues such as migration facing the world and with Guyana becoming an oil producer, the country can attract some of those threats and the country must not be found wanting to respond.
“Guyana must never be found wanting when it comes to addressing security threats whether emanating from within or outside our borders—I refer not only to what is termed the hardcore threats and challenge but all threats and challenge,” the President said.
In addition to security challenges, the President said the GDF also has a responsibility to rise to the challenge and deliberate on how it will address issues such as food and energy crisis not only in Guyana but in the region so that it will also be in a state of readiness to respond.
But Mr. Ali believes that to get the GDF to where it needs to be, continuous training of its officers is necessary.
He said his administration already plans to review the Officers attaché’ deployment to Embassies and High Commissions saying that the country must be well represented.
But in addition he said training for officers along the country’s borders is necessary, not only for their own edification, but for them to educate citizens within their jurisdiction so that they too can have a solid understanding of the country’s security challenges.
He said the time is now to retrain and reeducate those officers.
“I have expressed my concerns in some of these areas and I am sure that they will be addressed. This conference must come out with specific agenda of addressing this issue. I want to see out of this conference a manual on our borders that every officer posted at our border location must have that manual and be trained in that manual and must be and must be able to train others from that manual,” the President said.
The President said the government will be making resources available to the GDF to boost its infrastructural capacity to respond to challenges.
“We are expanding the capacity of the Guyana Defense Force to better discharge its functions and to be responsible for the variation and complexity of challenges facing the state,” the President said.
President Ali noted the importance of the annual officers’ conference, pointing out that the Force will have to weed out those “bad apples” and the ones who don’t give a damn about the work in the Force.
He challenged the officers to be leaders across the Caribbean in their field and also told them that they should complete studies and research that could aid in the Force’s development.