The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu has paid a two-day working visit to the Western Naval Command (WNC) in Sekondi-Takoradi from Sunday 19 to Tuesday 21 December, 2021.
In a durbar with troops on Monday 20 December 2021, the CNS commended the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC, Commodore Samuel Walker for keeping the Base afloat and his sterling leadership to the Command. He expressed his amazement for the transformation at the Base and was very pleased with the good work done by the FOC and his Men.
He noted that the Navy had set some priorities which included the modernization of the fleet and the Navy in general, committing resources for the improvement in professionalism and to seek the welfare of personnel. He said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot had been achieved with reference to the set priorities.
With the modernization of the fleet, the CNS hinted that Government had approved budgetary allocation for the purchase of additional Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and Fast Patrol Boasts (FPBs) for the Navy. He used the opportunity to thank government for the support and its high interest in maritime security. The CNS announced that they had taken delivery of four 5.9 metre zodiac boats that were highly maneuverable with state of the art equipment on them.
He averred that beyond the support from government, the Ghana Navy on their effort, had also put measures in place to support the government by acquiring four new Offshore Security Vessels for their offshore security operations. The four vessels had been named after some river bodies namely; GNS Volta, GNS Densu, GNS Ankobra and GNS Pra. He commended the entire Command for their role in the operation Halt II with the aim to recover and revive the river bodies. He said apart from the fleet, they were also trying to modernized the way they administer the Navy by way of digitization, which will enable things to be done faster and easier. He, therefore urged personnel to upgrade themselves in the area of digitization to be able to operate the new vessels which were modern and computerized.
He was impressed with the high level of professionalism displayed by personnel over the years. He stated that they had made good strides with their Special Boat Squadron which had now become the toast of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in terms of operations. He thanked the CDS for expanding the recruit training accommodation at the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) and Ratings accommodation at WNC among others.
On welfare, he said accommodation was a major challenge and due to that, they had entered into a joint venture with a company using innovative ways. He announced that, next year, they will break grounds for a 2000-unit barracks accommodation to be built in Accra and the Western Regions, to ease the accommodation challenges of personnel. He stressed that they were also engaging a mortgaged facility to assist personnel to own their homes with a flexible payment plan.
He added that, due to the risk nature of their work, they had instituted a Ghana Navy Endowment Fund with a seed capital of GH 1 Million Cedis. This, he said, will be used to cater for families of personnel when they pay the ultimate sacrifice in line of duty. He advised personnel to religiously contribute towards their provident fund which will serve as supplement funds when they go on pension. The CNS cautioned personnel against the use of social media to perpetrate acts that will dent the name of the Navy and GAF as a whole.
Prior to the durbar, the CNS toured the Base and inspected ongoing projects, other facilities, the new Ratings accommodation and the Officers accommodation project at Kweikuma in Sekondi.