Modern Air Corps, Coast Guard part of long term plan to protect border, national assets
With continued investments in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and a focus on preserving the country’s territorial integrity, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said a modern Air Corps and Coast Guard will be developed in the coming years.
The Head of State said this while addressing the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Annual Officers Conference on Wednesday at Base Camp Ayanganna, Georgetown.
According to Dr. Ali, significant investments are being made in upskilling soldiers and guaranteeing that the GDF itself is equipped with modern equipment to execute its mandate.
But with Guyana becoming an increasingly attractive business hub, underpinned by offshore oil production in the EEZ, the President said more capital investments are crucial.
“Guyana must never be found wanting when it comes to responding to security threats,” Dr. Ali said pointedly.
He later added, “Over the long term, we are looking to develop a modern air corps and coast guard.”
But protecting Guyana’s assets is not the only consideration necessitating a greater focus on fortifying the country’s defenses.
According to the President, keen attention must be placed on external threats to the country’s borders. Though modern, more sophisticated assets are crucial here too, the President said soldiers themselves must be better.
“Having interacted with some officers, I believe the time is also ripe for us to do some retraining, retooling and re-educating of our officers,” President Ali said.
He wants soldiers stationed at border areas to become au fait with Guyana’s history and position on protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty. They must also be aware of the challenges facing the state, he said.
Soldiers must also be able to help with the protection of Guyana’s forests and the wider environment.
Though these are tall asks for soldiers, the President promised that greater efficiency and commitment would lead to handsome compensation.
Compensation, he highlighted, extends to education, housing and health benefits.