The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Masanneh N Kinteh on Tuesday 1 May 2018 bade farewell to the first batch of the New Presidential Guards comprising 150 GAF personnel (including 21 females) who were leaving for Dakar, Senegal to undergo further training. The contingent, which also includes thirty-five (35) members of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) is led by Major Kuluteh Manneh and assisted by Captain Lamin Fatty of GAF and are expected to be in Senegal for a period of three months.
Addressing the troops at the Gambia Armed Forces Training School (GAFTS) in Fajara, General Kinteh congratulated the troops and extended regards from the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Adama Barrow. He went further to express his satisfaction with the reconstruction of the New Presidential Guards, which he noted is part of Security Sector Reform agenda of the new government.
“The need for the dissolution of the former State Guards Battalion came at a time when the security architecture was in absolute need of reforms. Therefore, in his quest to create a professional security outfit for the Presidency, the President consulted his Senegalese counterpart for the new batch of the Presidential Guards to undergo further training in Dakar, Senegal. However, due to the protocols involved, the training could not commence as scheduled”, General Kinteh said.
The CDS also informed troops that the New Presidential guards will be a mixture of various security services in the country. He advised the troops to forget about their individual, regional and Services and focus on the training as a team to achieve the desired outcome, through which they can adequately take care of the security of the seat of Government.
The CDS opined that he has no doubt in the ability of the troops to undergo the training due to the professional training they received at GAFTS. He concluded by admonishing the troops to live up to the expectations while warning them that acts of indiscipline will not be condoned.
The training is envisaged to create a new Presidential Guard that will be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the security of the President, his family and the entire cabinet.