By Tabora Bojang
Lieutenant Colonel Babucarr Sanyang of the Gambia Armed Forces has officially been unveiled as the new commanding officer of the 1 infantry battalion at a colorful handing over ceremony held at Yundum Barracks.
Lt. Col Sanyang took over the baton from the outgoing commanding officer Colonel Sait Njie who has been at the helm of affairs since 2013.
Col Njie is now in charge of GAF training school in Fajara.
GAF high command, in their bid to restructure and transform the military in line with efforts to make it “more efficient and responsive to the security challenges” has recently effected certain appointments and postings and also upgrading units such as the Kanilai Garrison and the Basse camp into full battalions.
In his farewell remarks outgoing C\O, Colonel Sait Njie thanked the soldiers for their loyalty and cooperation during his tenure as their leader, saying their stay together was fruitful and for that they have achieved a lot.
He recounted series of his administration’s achievements, among which is capacity building programs and trainings such as skills at arms, food and arms drilling, regimentation, minor tactics, internal security regulations.
”Despite the climate of fear that surroundings training in the battalions during the former regime we took calculated risks to conduct annual training up to company level” he said.
“This successes were underpinned by professionalism good leadership and sound administration at all levels of command. I therefore commend your hard work and determination and grateful for your loyalty and salute your spirit of camaraderie that you so vehemently demonstrated during the period of my tenure. I therefore urge you to keep the momentum while also recommending that you accord the same cooperation and understanding to my successor,” he said.
He advised soldiers to desist from partisan politics and be cognizant of the roles and responsibilities of the army in a democracy.
“In the new Gambia the GAF leadership is tirelessly working towards improving the dented image of the armed forces and focusing the minds of members of the army away from old Gambia.
“Note that in this democratic dispensation the GAF needs to remain subordinate to the civilian populace and since the GAF is vested in the executive arm of the state it must exercise loyalty to the government of the day and our dear motherland the Gambia.”
For his part, the new leader of the battalion Co Lt. Colonel Babucarr Sanyang, who has spent over three decades since enlisted into the army, thanked the GAF High command for the trust and confidence bestowed in him by identifying him to steer and move the 1 infantry battalion forward.