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A seven-member delegation made up of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) from the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), led by the Senior Enlisted Leader, Chief Master Sergeant Colon Lopez, has called on the Forces Sergeant Major (FSM), Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) Ramous Barker at the Hall of Generals, Burma Camp on Monday 15 April 2019.

The purpose of the visit was to deliberate with their Ghanaian counterparts on how to train soldiers to fit into the role of Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) and how best their institution could assist GAF.

According to Chief Master Sergeant Lopez, programmes were tailored to suit the responsibilities of SNCOs. He explained that such would empower, develop and help GAF as a whole.  

He added that the reports gathered from the AFRICOM Conference held in the United States of America (USA) in 2017 and 2018 respectively had generated the need to get resources to match the challenges facing African militaries in establishing an efficient training for SNCOs.

He stressed that training policies would be drawn based on specific thematic areas. Amongst them would be the culture of the respective Armed Forces and the hierarchy of the military, among others.

Master Sergeant Lopez stated that the 2019 AFRICOM Conference which would be held later this year was honoured to have the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen OB Akwa and other CDS’s from some African countries address the African troops that will partake in the conference.

He commended GAF for making efforts in establishing a Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Academy to train NCOs to be effective in their roles.

FSM, SWO Barker in his address, requested for a mobile training team to train SNCO instructors who would share the knowledge they would acquire with their fellow NCOs.  

He advised the other Sergeant Majors to leave a legacy by helping train their subordinates so that they could function well in their absence. It was his wish that the Army emulated the good initiative of the Navy and Air Force to also establish their NCOs Academy.

He stated that most soldiers at the trade units tend to forget their Basic Military Skills unlike infantry soldiers who were always on the field. He therefore advised that soldiers at the trade units be made to go through cadres to enable them function well wherever they found themselves.  He thanked the team from AFRICOM and wished them well in their tour.

In a subsequent development, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) welcomed the delegation when they called on him. He expressed his profound gratitude to US AFRICOM for their support and stated that the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement had brought a strategic turn which saw a lot of activities between both nations.

He noted that he was earnestly waiting to commission the SNCO’s Academy in Tamale and roll out programmes which would improve the leadership skills of SNCOs. He further assured the delegation of Command’s total cooperation and readiness to accept further ideas in the build-up of the initiative. 

As part of the visit, the delegation would tour Army Recruit Training School at Shai Hills, Eastern Naval Command, Air Force Base and the SNCO’s Academy in Tamale which was still under construction.

Other people present at the meeting were the Service Sergeant Majors (SSMs) and Command Sergeant Majors (CSMs).

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