President Irfaan Ali has committed the Government’s continued investment in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), as he expects the Force to continue to rise to face challenges both internally and externally.
Speaking at the opening of the GDF Officers’ Conference this morning, the President said in line with national security priorities, there will be some reorganization at several levels of the GDF. The reorganization is to ensure that the GDF is always up to the task, the President said.
“There will be, based on our assessment, some reorientation, reorganizing of the way we do our work and perform our task and of course, we would have re-engage at the different level. With the types of assets, we are investing in, there will be structural changes. To whom, much is given, much is required,” the President said.
As a result, the President said the GDF must use the conference to deliberate on the shift in the asset base of the GDF, which will affect a shift in strategy and a shift in positioning of the organization. These shifts, he said, will be to ensure that the Force remains efficient and reliable in the face of external threats.
President Ali reiterated Guyana’s position of being a peaceful country, but said the GDF must be ready to ensure that the rights of the country and its citizens are not trampled upon by external forces.
“Let me be clear, Guyana is committed to the principle of non-aggression, but we remain principled and militant in the face of all and any threat. We must never be found blinking, but ever ready to deter and resist, any threat to our country. This is the mission of the force which you as officers have committed to lead,” the Commander in Chief noted.
The Commander in Chief also noted that the government’s heavy investment in the Force is to prepare it to respond effectively to challenges, and also to protect Guyana’s assets and natural resources.
“The surveillance not only of our borders, but our investment is to have complete eye on everything that belongs to Guyana including our Exclusive Economic Zone. That is what these investments are geared towards, giving us a comprehensive and total understanding of everything that occurs within our borders and our exclusive economic zone,” the President noted.
Acknowledging that capacity building is integral to defense, the head of state also emphasised that the GDF has a responsibility to equip its personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to train others.
The President has also announced that the title of Chief of Staff will be changed to Chief of Defence soon, in keeping with the reorganization of the Guyana Defence Force.