Four personnel of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) are set to leave for the Republic of China (Taiwan) to pursue a bachelor's degree programme in various fields at that country's National Defence University and the Army Academy respectively.
The personnel who are the latest recipients of the Taiwan Defence Scholarship Programme 2013 are: Col. Paul S Gomez, Lt. Colonel Baboucarr Jarju, Cadet Officer Lamin Colley and Cadet Officer Pateh Jawo. They were recently bade farewell byofficials of the Taiwanese Embassy in Banjul and The Gambia Armed Forces, at a ceremony that also welcomed three other personnel who successfully completed their studies in Taipei.
The Taiwan Defence Scholarship Programme has the objective of, among other things,developing human resources, cultivating military leadership and promoting military cooperation between Taiwan and its allies.
In his farewell address, Taiwanese ambassador, Samuel Chen, informed that two of the recipients who are senior military officers will pursue courses at the National Defence University, whilst the others will do theirs at the Army Academy. He described the initiative as important to the continuous capacity building efforts at GAF. "We hope that the training will be effective in improving the capacity of members of the armed forces," he stated.
The Taiwanese chief diplomat to The Gambia underscored thatmilitary cooperation between the two countries will focus more on training programmes, with a view to building capacities. He disclosed that currently, seven GAF personnel are undergoing training in Taiwan in various areas of military operations, including the air force.
Taking his turn to address the departing personnel, the chief of Defence Staff , Lt. Gen. Ousman Badjie, commended the government and people of Taiwan for their ceaseless support to the institution. These training programmes he noted, will enhance efficiency in their work. "You are not the first to go to Taiwan, and those who went before you have since come back with good reports and excellent results. Whilst I have no doubt that you will live up to expectation, I want you to remember that you are going to represent The Gambia in Taiwan," he enjoined the prospective students.
Speaking on behalf of the departing officers, Paul Gomez, assured the benefactors and the army high command, that they will strive hard to perform to expectation.