The President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissioned two Boundary Class Ships for the Ghana Navy at the Western Naval Command (WNC) on Saturday 9 September 2023.
The C-in-C also commissioned two Defender Class Boats, GNS FAIDOO and GNS AMOAMA, a Ghana Navy Landing Craft named NAVDOCK 1 and an Oil Spill Response Vessel, MV ESTHER AFUA OCLOO for the Ghana Maritime Authority.
Delivering the keynote address, the C-in-C said the commissioning of the ships forms part of government’s efforts in retooling and equipping the GAF to enable them perform their duties diligently. He applauded the Ghana Navy for their effort in protecting the maritime domain as there have not been any attack on ships in the last two years.
The President extended his appreciation to the United States of America (USA) government for their benevolence, commending them for supporting Ghana’s Military Revitalization Program through capacity building. He stressed that the current five-year trilateral agreement between the USA, Ghana and Denmark was set to make Ghana Navy’s Special Boats Squadron (SBS), a Tier-1 Special Operations Force by 2026. The C-in-C stated that despite financial constraints, the acquisition of Offshore and Fast Patrol Vessels were still in the consideration stage for acquisition.
The President applauded the Ghana Navy for the efforts made in building NAVDOCK 1 which is Ghana’s first indigenous Landing Craft with 11.5m in length designed to carry 30 personnel and 1 ton of cargo. He acknowledged the sacrifices made by the families of the personnel and urged the crew of the commissioned vessels to live up to the billings of the Ghana Navy.
The Minister for Defense, Honorable Dominic Nitiwul noted there could not have been development without security and the importance of a well-equipped Armed Forces cannot be overemphasized hence prioritizing its needs. He commended the American government for lending enormous support to GAF.
On her part, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Virginia Palmer, said Ghana and US’ bilateral cooperation ties was significant towards achieving this stride.
She urged the Ghana Navy to put the vessels to good use in order to enhance the safety of Ghana’s territorial waters, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Gulf of Guinea. The Ambassador added that the vessels will help deny pirates, traffickers and criminals, the use of the sea for their illegal activities.
The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu expressed gratitude to the C-in-C for his efforts towards equipping the Ghana Navy. He expressed gratitude to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama for starting an initiative that has seen the Navy manufacture its first Landing Craft.
The CNS was hopeful the initiative will kickstart the manufacturing of boats locally and also enable the Navy to support the Army in amphibious operations. He added that, the Forward Operating Base project under construction in the Jomoro district in the Western region was more than 50% complete.
The project when completed will have a Naval Harbour, accommodation for about 10,000 troops, surveillance systems and other ancillary equipment which will make it the single largest defence project in Ghana’s history.
A commissioning warrant was handed over to Lt (GN) Evans Blay Emu Nyamekeh Enwuli, Commanding Officer GNS HALF ASSINI and Lt (GN) David Thompson Commanding Officer AFLAO. GNS HALF ASSINI and Lt (GN) David Thompson, Commanding Officer GNS AFLAO.