By Aminata Kuyateh
The Gambia Armed Forces wednesday held a graduation ceremony for 25 soldiers who concluded a 6-week intensive military training of trainers at 4 Infantry Battalion in Kanilai, West Coast Region.
The ToT demo course 2 was meant to build the collective capacities and skills so as to enable the soldiers acquire competence and confidence.
Speaking at the event, Brigadier General Mamat O. Cham, said: “The Gambia Armed Forces is able to discharge its assigned constitutional roles and mandates. We have to continuously engage in relevant and realistic training in order to build the individual and collective capacities and skills”.
He said the trainees would need the competences and confidence to perform in their various roles and duties in their assigned sections, platoons, companies and battalions.
“The ToT that has been completed today in 4 Infantry Battalion is just the first phase of the commander’s continuous training cycle that will involve every active soldier. All modern armies operate complex and sophisticated equipment and are knowledgeable,” he added.
He urged graduates to be good citizens and good role models for the country, “refrain from drugs and other vices, be an asset, not a liability and serve your community justly, with fairness, sympathy for everybody and uphold the laws and moral values of this great country, the Gambia.”
Major Wassa Camara said the training was essentially focus on refreshing the participating students in weapons, drills combats and cadre procedures and duties among others by the mobile training team (MTT) from GAF training school.
“It was in 1996 when soldiers were first deployed in Kanilia as guard post and later increased in strength to a battalion level. In January 2017 after the political impasse all officers and men were withdrawn and deployed to various battalions,” he added.
Captain Lamin B.Camara said the ToT and other battalion elements had conducted series of live firing exercises over the course of the training at the range in Tintiba, during which the ToT went through rigorous field exercises in every deployment.
“Without constant training, the soldier will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle, without constant practice the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand,” he said.
“The Gambia armed forces have learned this lesson during the impasse, the military is known for its insatiable appetite for success and getting things done.”
He said that CDS’s vision for the Gambia Armed Force is “a highly transformed, motivated, apolitical and non-tribally inclined armed forces that is fully equipped and prepared to execute its constitutional role, contributing meaningfully to national development and playing key roles in the maintenance of regional peace and stability and at the same time subjected to democratic civilian control and accountability.”