By Mustapha Jallow
115 members of the Gambia Armed Force (GAF) and 35 personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), Tuesday May 1st, departed for Senegal to train on protecting the president and executive members of the Government.
The first batch of the new Presidential Guards of 150 personnel which includes 21 female soldiers, were addressed and seen off by the Military Chief, at GAF Training School in Fajara.
Lieutenant General Massaneh N. Kinteh, in addressing the troops, congratulated them and extended regards from the President, who he said, has proceeded on leave. He expressed satisfaction on the reconstruction of the new Presidential Guards as part of the agenda for the new Government.
‘‘The need for the dissolution of the former State Guards came at a time when the security architecture was in absolute need of reform. It is in this quest that the President consulted his Senegalese counterpart for the new batch of Presidential Guards to undergo training in Dakar,’’ he said.
CDS Kinteh informed them that the new Presidential Guard will be a mixture of members of different security outfits within the country. He advised the troops to forget about their individual and regional differences and focus on the training as a team, to achieve the desired result. “I have no doubt that you will be able to do the training in Dakar due to the professional level and training at GAFTS”, the CDS indicated. He admonished the troops to live up to expectation and warned that acts of indiscipline, will attract severe punishment.
He concluded by informing them, that the training will last for 3 months which will be finalised upon their arrival in Senegal.
The troops were led by Major Kuluteh Manneh.