President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday commissioned a newly constructed Naval Training Command at Nutekpor in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
The Command Centre, which has been the long-held vision of several Chiefs of Naval Staff, according to the President, “is going to accommodate all the training schools of the Navy, under a unified command, to improve the development of human resources in the Navy and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.”
He explained that increasing economic activities in the maritime environment, especially in the oil and gas and fisheries sectors, and their accompanying security challenges, demand the presence of a well-trained maritime force for the purposes of offering enhanced protection.
President Akufo-Addo also noted that piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea are presenting significant threats to national and regional maritime activities.
“We, therefore, need every naval officer and sailor to be equipped with creative solutions to deal with present and future maritime security challenges, and stay ahead of the criminal actors at sea”, he stated.
President Akufo-Addo added that “this is the basis for Government’s support, through the Ministry of Defence, of the establishment of this Naval Training Command.”
The Command will serve as the nerve centre of the Navy’s training doctrine, with the seven major schools under the Command, i.e., the School of Maritime Operations, Supply Application School, Marine Engineering and Electrical Application School, Basic Leadership Training School, the Recruit Training School, Special Forces Training School and the Diving School, providing numerous touchpoints to instill the core values of the Navy.
“The schools would also impart the knowledge and skills required of naval personnel, so that they can attain the appropriate professional standards, and maintain operational readiness in accordance with the Navy’s operational procedures,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that the schools, operating under the Command, will be equipped to leverage technology, and use new training methodologies to enhance learning and achieve greater efficiencies in line with Government’s agenda of technology and digitisation.
The facilities that have been completed and ready for use, under Phase One of this Project, are the Command Headquarters, the School of Maritime Operations, the Recruit Training School, the instructors’ and students’ accommodation blocks, library, medical centre and mini Mosque.
All these and other facilities, earmarked for construction, sit on a 114-acre land, which has been fenced to ward off encroachers.
In addition, the Ministry of Defence is in the process of securing 250-acre land on the outskirts of this Command for the construction of an outdoor shooting range to support training.
President Akufo-Addo noted that, upon the successful completion of the remainder of the schools, “the Training Command will become a maritime training centre of excellence, attracting trainees from other security services and maritime stakeholders from both within and outside Ghana, in line with the tenets of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.
“We believe that retooling the Armed Forces, in general, and the Navy, in particular, is the surest way to support the principles of the Code of Conduct, which calls for resourcing the navies in the Gulf of Guinea States to enhance collaboration in joint operations and information sharing. We, in Government, would, therefore, give maximum support, and ensure that the construction of the remaining schools commence in earnest to make the Command fully operational.”
President Akufo-Addo expressed the appreciation of Government and the Ghanaian people to the Chiefs and people of Agave Traditional Area for the full support they have given the project.
“I am told that the medical centre will serve as the first port of call for all residents of Nutekpor and surrounding communities”, President Akufo-Addo concluded.