By Aisha Tamba
Some 41 GAF personnel are currently undergoing a two -week training on close protection at the Gambia Armed Forces Training School (GAFTS) Fajara.
The training is tailored for personnel of the State Guards Battalion tasked to provide security for the president and his immediate family as well as his property.
The course will equip the participants with additional knowledge and skills in close protection duties and is being conducted by the British Army Royal Military Police Short Term Training Team.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Mamat O Cham said the training is very important as it will enhance the participants’ skills in close protection particularly while protecting the presidency and the first family, VIPs and visiting dignitaries.
“The State Guard Battalion is tasked with a daunting duty as they are responsible for the security of the president who sometimes have to deal with the public in large gatherings. So this training will give you that latitude to flex some flexibility while carrying out your functions and also allow the president to interact with his people,” Cham told the participants.
General Cham urged the participants to take the training seriously because they are protecting the country’s face of sovereignty which he stated is no other but the presidency.
He thanked the British High Commissioner, British Defence Attaché, and the British Army Royal Military Police Short Term Training Team for providing and conducting the training.
Colonel Sait Njie, Commander State Guards Battalion described the training as a command function, adding that capacity building on the list of priorities under his command.
Colonel Njie posited that the two weeks training will not only add to the plethora of training activities but will also sharpen the skills and proficiency of the close protection sub-unit of the Battalion.
“This Close Protection training could not have come at a better time than now when the State Guards is bracing up to take over full responsibility of security of H.E the President of the Republic and C-I-C of the armed forces from ECOMIG,” the senior officer posited.
He thanked the British Defence Attache’ Lt Col Charles Cooper and British High Commission for facilitating the training and also the British Armed Forces for accepting to organise the training for members of the State Guards on gratis.
At the end of the training, it is expected that the participants technical and tactical knowledge will immensely improve and will also augment the effectiveness and professionalism of the personnel of the State Guards Battalion.