Gambia: Counter-Insurgency Training Wraps-Up At GAF Training School

Fifteen personnel drawn from various security outfits in the country; including the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), the Gambia Police Force, the Gambia Fire and Rescue Service, and the National Intelligence Agency, on Friday concluded a five-day intensive training on insurgency and counter-insurgency at the GAF Training School at Fajara Barracks.

The personnel were introduced to skills in warfare, about terrorism, insurgency, case studies on uprising in Algeria, Aden 1964-1967, the current British operation in Afghanistan, as well as the importance of the media.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the commandant at the Gambia Armed Forces Training School, Captain Abdoulie Jobe, indicated their commitment to executing theirresponsibility of recruitment, orientating andtraining officers. He described the training as important, in that it came at a time when they were preparing to deploy troops to Darfur and Mali. Therefore, he said, a training of this nature and magnitude would enable them face the challenges of the changing warfare in insurgency.

The Training School commandant went on to challenge the officers to do all it takes to expand their knowledge and explore their potentials, in order to meet the changing demans of today's military operations. "Although we are from different security outfits, ultimately, we all have one mission; which is to protect the sovereignty of The Gambia," he told the graduating officers.

Also speaking at the occasion, a lecturer from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurts in the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Mann, noted that as resource persons, they have learned more than what they have given to their participants."We learn about West African politics and the role The Gambia plays in that; about the superb manpower available at GAF and its vital contribution to the stability in Darfur," the lecturer told the gathering.

The British high commissioner to The Gambia, David Morley, for his part, said it is always important to see the range of partnership the United Kingdom has with The Gambia, while underscoring the significance of this training. He spoke about the reputation of the Gambian forces in Darfur, noting that there is much expectation for GAF in Mali.

Deputising for the chief of Defence Staff of GAF, the director of Training and Doctoring at the Defence Headquarters in Banjul, Navy Captain Sambou Barrow, said the training is part of the training directives of the army leadership, designed to arm them with the professional knowledge and skills to execute their assigned roles and responsibilities in dealing with insurgency and counter-insurgency. "The training would prepare them to the assigned tasks as the situation may arise both within and outside the country," he concluded.

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