‘Time to be transformative’- Dr. Ali tells GDF ranks at commissioning of new aircraft
Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) will now benefit from two new aircraft procured for the purpose of improving the country’s territorial surveillance operations and rescue efforts.
In addition, the assets will improve the country’s response to border threats, search and rescue, and other emergencies.
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Saturday commissioned the Bell 412 EPI (8R-AYA 412) Helicopter and Beechcraft Super King Air 350 (8R-1GY) at the Air Station London (AirCorps), Timehri.
The aircraft were procured from the United States of America.
“We are sparing no effort in ensuring that we put our Guyana Defence Force and the Air Corp at the frontline of modernization and transformation and creating an environment in which we are not second to none but only second to ourselves.
“This is a time to be transformative in what we do. I am confident that we have the skills and the talent to achieve all that the country has set out to achieve,” Dr Ali said.
The President noted that this vision requires transformative thinking and transformation of the role ranks play. He added that the workforce culture must be changed rapidly and as more opportunities for training arise, he encouraged ranks to participate.
This is an effort to ensure that more persons are able to perform well and are placed in positions for promotions.
Importantly, Dr Ali said the Defence Board has also authorized the Air Corps to take over the operations’ maintenance of the GUYSUCO Hanger at Ogle, East Coast Demerara. Another aircraft is also being procured for the GDF to add to the growing resources.
“For aggressive policing, we also need assets to support our police along the coast and we will be investing in pieces of assets to support policing work, and the military, defence force will have the responsibility of ensuring that we have adequately trained police officers,” he posited.
Pilots and engineers have received training on the maintenance and operation of the recently acquired aircraft. Adding to the enormous training ranks undergo, the Head-of-State said Guyana will soon provide advanced aviation training with a new Civil Aviation school.
The contract signing for this facility is expected by year-end.
The Beechcraft Super King Air 350 is highly demanded within the industry. This particular vehicle underwent extensive upgrades over the last two years in order to serve in this capacity.
With 13 seats, twin engines, and a 1600-pound weight capacity, the aircraft can transport fit three sets of patients in its litter kit. It is also great for extensive flights.
While the Bell 412 EPI Helicopter will be a great addition for deploying forces to remote areas of the country.
The Chief-of-Staff, Omar Khan said the aircraft complement the resources to defend Guyana’s territory.
“This is what I refer to in creating that safe and secure place for national development to unfold.
“These aircraft represent an expansion of the fleet at Air Corps and a push to establish an ecosystem of institutional support to sustain the serviceability of these air assets therefore addressing the development of our human resource is equally another area of focus we will the expansion to the number of engineers and pilots of national development,” the Chief-of-Staff said.
He added that with more transformation of the aviation sector, more persons will be trained to operate these tools, therefore expanding the human capacity.