THE General Officer Commanding the Northern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Chris K. Ocran, has called on officers and men of the three services, namely the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to improve upon their weapon handling skills in order to deal professionally with the security challenges facing the country and the world at large.
He made the call at the opening ceremony of the bi-annual Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) shooting competition, code-named: “Exercise Fireblast” at the Yawhima Military Shooting Range in the Sunyani Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The inter-services shooting competition which opened last Wednesday ends today.
The aim of the competition is to intensify training and improve upon weapon handling within the GAF, exchange training ideas and foster co-operation and friendship among the Armed Forces.
It also promotes competitive spirit and esprit de corps within the GAF, and also encourages all ranks, especially the young officers, as well as female soldiers, to improve on their shooting skills.
Personnel from the three services of the GAF would compete in the M16 rifle shooting, small machine gun (SMG) shooting, pistol Norinco shooting and falling plates.
Brigadier General Ocran stressed the need for a high level of professionalism as personnel of the GAF were constantly engaged in internal security and international operations.
He said it was, therefore, imperative for personnel of the GAF to improve on their weapon handling skills in order to achieve results and at the same time reduce accidents in the face of the challenges of armed robberies, communal violence and cross-border crimes.
Touching on the competition, Brigadier General Ocran said the competition was necessary as it doubled as training for the GAF to enable the service to perform its constitutional roles effectively and professionally.
“This event is also important to the GAF because it facilitates joint training. We get the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the workings, processes and procedures of the other services. We make good friends and develop healthy rivalry,” he added.
Brigadier General Ocran advised the competitors that it was not a do-or-die issue which should generate enmity since it was meant to test their skills as men at arms in a healthy atmosphere, adding that the competition should be conducted in a fair manner devoid of any acrimony and underhand dealings or cheating.
He observed that the competition was not to test only their skills but also their moral and ethical values of fairness, good sportsmanship and brotherliness, and expressed the hope that records would be broken and set.
Among the dignitaries who witnessed the opening ceremony were Brigadier General Ishmael Ben Quartey, the Commander of the Support Services, members of the Regional Security Council and Oboaman Dr Bofotia Boa-Amponsem II, the Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional Area.