The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has acquired more “arrows” into her “quiver”, with the graduation of one hundred and ninety-two Ghana Navy recruits, at Nutekpor, near Sogakope, in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region, to augment the discharge of her constitutionally mandated responsibilities.
The Navy Recruits Training School (NRTS), under the Navy Training Command (NAVTRAC), on Friday, 26th January, 2018, passed out 192 (48 females), after admitting 216 civilians from the 28th July, 2017, with 24 of them falling away in the course of the transformation.
Two of the recruits were released for misconduct, 16 were withdrawn on medical grounds and 4 were terminated on their own volition and on compassionate considerations.
The recruits, christened Batch 80, were schooled in Basic Naval Training (BNT) and Standard Military Training (SMT) such as Map Reading, Field Exercises, Weapon Training, Field Craft, Minor Tactics, Voice Procedure, Test of Elementary Training, Fast & Rifle Drills and Basic Fitness Tests.
The Ghana Navy had been training its recruits at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Tema until 2016 when the military High Command firmed up its decision to establish NAVTRAC, albeit with very limited resources available.
The training command sits on a large unfenced plot of land, (which was compulsorily acquired by the state for this purpose), envisages the training camp to, in the near future, host modern training pitches, a Nuclear Biological & Chemical Defence Centre (NBCD), Maritime Operations, Diving, Maritime Engineering, Music and Supply Officers’ school.
It should however be stated sadly that many military installations nationwide, are not well demarcated such as fencing them against encroachment, thus compromising sanctity of purpose, in many cases.
Another observation that requires prompt response, as noted by the media, was the inadequate accommodations for both training officers and the recruits under transformation, as many officers make do with poor conditions and other inconveniences, which could adversely toll on training of the potential sailors.
Corporate institutions could adopt the construction of each of the envisioned centres at NAVTRAC, for the cost of peace cannot be quantified until destruction exudes.
The Reviewing Officer and guest of honour for the graduation parade, Rear Admiral E Akoto Bonsu (rtd) urged all military personnel to remain professional and apt, in the discharge of their duties.
Prior to the passing out parade, a Religious Parade was held at the NRTS on Sunday, 21st January, 2018, at which the Commanding Officer (CO) of the school, Lieutenant Commander (Lt-Cdr) McCarthy, admonished the energetic recruits against joining hands with criminals, such as land guards, armed robbers and illegal miners.
The CO, in urging his charges to take physical fitness seriously, quoted one Rudyard Kipling as having said that ‘nations have passed away and left no traces, for one single simple reason in all cases – they fell because their peoples were not fit’.
The awards distribution for recruits went in this wise; Recruit Adzraku Courage Bright – Best in Drill and Overall Best, Recruit Anokyewaa Vivian – Academics, Recruit Lantam Lewis – Special Award and Karikari Godwin – Wheel Award.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion were the District Chief Executive of the South Tongu District – Emmanuel Louis Agamah, Member of Parliament for South Tongu Constituency – Mensah Kobla Woyome, the FOC for NAVTRAC, Commodore E Edu and the Chief Staff Officer (CSO), Navy HQ, Commodore Issah Yakubu and some traditional rulers amongst many.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Nutekpor, Volta Region