The General Officer Commanding (GOC) Southern Command, Brig Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah has challenged troops to make training the core of their careers to be worthy of the medals and badges they wear.
Speaking at the close of this year’s ‘Exercise Starlight Stretch’ at Prampram in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region on 13 October 2017, GOC lamented that soldiers wear all sorts of medals and badges on their uniforms with accolades like Commando, Follow me, among others, inscribed on them but however wondered whether they could live up to the accolades.
Brig Gen Oppong-Peprah indicated that, recent threats require that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) pay attention to drills in ‘Fighting in Built Up Areas’ (FIBUA) as a concept of operation in order to curtail the dynamic threats posed by terrorists and adversaries in the sub region and the world over.
He therefore charged Commanding Officers of the various units of GAF to initiate training in FIBUA for troops to sharpen their skills on how to use the urban terrain to their advantage to dislodge any threat to security.
Exercise Starlight Stretch is organized for units under Southern Command namely 1, 2 and 5 Infantry Battalions, and the Combat Support Units including the Armoured Recce Regiment, 48 Engineer Regiment, 64 Infantry Regiment and 66 Artillery Regiment with the aim of fostering co-operation amongst infantry and combat support units on the battlefield.
The training exercise was also aimed at enhancing cohesion and comradeship between units under command and also test commanders at all levels in the conduct of a battalion operation within a combat team framework in a conventional setting.
This year’s Exercise witnessed the Infantry Battalions take turn to operate with the combat support units on a similar battle scenario in the Ningo Prampram general area over a 3 month period, between August and October, with 1Bn, 2Bn and 5Bn in that order on competitive basis.
The GOC was full of praise for the 5 Infantry Battalion team for the tact and precision with which they performed their tasks, scoring them excellent in both weapon handling and knowledge in FIBUA, and average in fire and maneuver as well as physical fitness. He also praised the efforts of the combat support units for the skill with which they played their roles to the success of the mission. He however described the performance of the Armour detachment as disappointing.
The exercise was conducted under the keen supervision of the Command Operations Officer (COO) of Southern Command, Lt Col Isaac Amponsah, who explained that the idea behind the exercise was to create cohesion and team spirit of Southern Command and how to integrate the maneuver units and the logistics units to achieve a common goal. There was also a team of umpires who refereed the whole exercise and was led by the Exercise Coordinator, Maj Martin Dey.
Individual awards were presented to soldiers who distinguished themselves on the exercise.