The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Friday decorated the four visiting Taiwanese military instructors with medals and distinguished service awards on the sidelines of the handing of three patrol boats to The Gambia Navy in Banjul.
The four instructors have been deployed by the government of Taiwan to train The Gambia Navy (GN) crew on professional navy development, capacity building and increase in response capacity. The training was part of preparations to enable The Gambia navy operate the three M2A2 high speed boards that are donated by the government of Taiwan. The awardees - master sergeant Lee Han-Sheng, master sergeant Yang Po-Tsan, captain Hstao Chan-Wen and colonel Yang Cheng-Hua - were pinned by Vice President Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, assisted by the chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces, (GAF) Brigadier General Ousman Bargie. The distinguished service awards, according to officials, are rare accolades that GAF decorates its visiting personnel and other friends of the force for their support and excellent services.
Shortly after the decoration, Vice President Njie-Saidy commended the four instructors for their support and contribution to The Gambia. She expressed The Gambia's gratitude to the four instructors, the leadership and the entire Taiwanese people. The Taiwanese ambassador, Samuel Chen, for his part, reiterated that the donation of the boats and the training of the GN personnel will promote safety, security and protection of The Gambia's territorial waters from illegal exploitation.
The ceremony also saw a nine-stage demonstrations by the 30 GAF personnel who underwent a two-month intensive drill course on guard of honour. That training, which was conducted at the GAF Training School in Fajara, last May, was sponsored by the Taiwanese government.