Guyana to get its own Defence Institute to boost local, regional military training

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In keeping with the new development trajectory and the high standards desired for officers of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced that he has approved the establishment of a Defence Institute.

“I have carefully reviewed a recommendation from the Chief of Staff for the establishment of a Defence Institute within the Guyana Defence Force and I am authorising the Chief of Staff to proceed with the development of the programme and curriculum to bring into effect, in a short time this institute,” President Ali said.

The Head of State made the announcement as he was addressing the newest batch of GDF officers, after presenting them with their instruments of appointment during a ceremony at State House.

The establishment of the institute is in line with the President’s vision of strengthening the country’s defence response.

Currently, the University of Guyana (UG) offers a Master’s Programme in Strategic Development Studies, which targets officers of the GDF, who have successfully completed their training.

Members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF)

This, along with the establishment of the new institute, are all part of the government’s effort to ensure that military officers are adequately trained and educated to effectively execute their duties.

Overall, the aim of the institute is to ensure the GDF officers no longer operate solely based on their military skills and knowledge and that they are better informed and can contribute to national development.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali

“Given the unfolding development taking place across Guyana, the diversification of the economy, massive oil production, increased foreign direct investments, and expansion of regional and international engagements and partnerships, it is imperative that our military officers, at a minimum, have adequate domain awareness to function effectively in the execution of their duties,” Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan told the News Room in an invited comment.

He said officers of the Force will now be required to understand the full spectrum of government foreign, economic, and social policies.

“It (GDF institute) will provide him/her with the necessary knowledge to make better-informed decisions to contribute to national development.

“Ultimately, an officer of the Guyana Defence Force must be in a position to draw meaning out of his tasks and align same to national development,” Brigadier Khan contended.

He explained that officers now need to understand what drives internal and regional security and the role Guyana plays must be integral to any defence plans.

He added, “The Defence Institute will be fashioned to promote the kind of awareness needed by Defence and Security officers to operate in a fast-developing Guyana. It will form part of an officer’s continuous training. Such an officer, with adequate domain awareness, must be prepared to defend and protect Guyana on all fronts with the relevant and necessary knowledge guiding his/her actions.”

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