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Guyana Defence Force to set up military & civil aviation school in Caribbean – World News Network

Georgetown [Guyana], July 9 (ANI): A Guyana Defence Force (GDF)-run military and civil aviation school will soon be opened and will be managed by the Air Corps, according to Guyana Times.
Guyana President Irfaan Ali has revealed that this school will serve both local and regional students and will bring on board trained military instructors who served in both the GDF and other armies.
While giving the feature address at a ceremony to commission the refurbished twin-engine Beechcraft aircraft, the President made this announcement at Air Station London (Air Corps) Timehri on Saturday, reported Guyana Times.
This aircraft was discovered back in 2017 in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and has since been converted for Government use.
President Ali said, “I have authorised work to be concluded before the third quarter of this year, to have a full presentation to the defence board of an aviation school. A military and civil aviation school, to be run and managed by the Air Corps. We’re going to reach out to all the retired assets from the Air Corps and those regionally, as we seek to build one of the most modern and advanced aviation schools in the Caribbean here in Guyana, providing training for all of the Caribbean.”
The President hoped that all the formalities could be completed by the end of 2023 and the school will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2024. He emphasised that the school would be open to training not only local and regional military personnel but also training civilian pilots, according to Guyana Times.
“We’re sparing no effort in ensuring that we put our Guyana Defence Force and the Air Corps, on the front line of modernisation and transformation. And creating an environment in which we are second to none, but only second to ourselves. This vision requires a transformation in thinking and the approach to our work. The workplace culture. The workforce culture must change and change rapidly,” he added.
President Ali further said, “Aviation requires additional discipline. Additional responsibility. And we’re going to hold the leadership of the air corps accountable. This isn’t the season or time to be laid back. This is a time to be transformative in what we do. And I’m confident that we have the skills, the capacity, and the talent in the air corps. To achieve all that we set ourselves to achieve.”
He noted that they must break the “tradition” of losing highly skilled personnel after they would have invested heavily in training them. According to the President, this can only be addressed by ensuring holistic career development, as per Guyana Times.
“We can only do so if we create a comprehensive pathway for career development also. Those who are pilots and engineers, those who are safety officers, must see their journey not ending after retirement, but see right in Air Corps, their ability to transition into a new form of service. And that is what the school will allow us to do.”
Earlier on Saturday, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces commissioned a refurbished twin-engine Beechcraft aircraft which was discovered back in 2017 in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) which will now be used for Government travel. Also, during the ceremony, the Government purchased a new Bell 412 EPI helicopter.
Moreover, GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Omar Khan spoke about the efforts currently underway to modernise the army. There is the Bell 412 helicopter expanding the Air Corps’ capacity and its ability to protect Guyana’s territorial integrity. He noted that it also aligns with President Ali’s announced defence policy initiative.
He said, “At the operational level, one of our roles mandated in the Defence Act is to defend the territorial integrity of Guyana. These assets are complementary to this role in defending our territorial integrity. The Bell 412, for example, enhances our capability to rapidly deploy forces to the most remote locations of our country and to respond to any emergency.”
“This Bell 412 will provide the platform needed for the Air Corps to save lives. It has a substantial role, a potential role in our territorial defence, to conduct surveillance, reconnaissance-type operations. This is in keeping with our national defence policy and it aligns seamlessly with the recent announcement from our Commander in Chief with the defence policy initiative,” Khan added.
However, the President disclosed that training is currently underway for members of the GDF’s aviation wing ahead of the impending purchase of a Dornier aircraft. In February, it was announced that Guyana was in talks with the Government of India to procure patrolling vessels and a Dornier aircraft to better protect Guyana’s maritime boundaries.
On Sunday, President Ali revealed that this contract should be signed by the end of this year, reported Guyana Times.
“It is my view that the modernisation of the Air Corps or the aviation wing of the Guyana Defence Force has just begun. So today as we celebrate the acquisition of these assets, we’re in the final stages of having a contract for another piece of asset. That is the Dornier. So, before the end of this year, we will have the contract in place for the Dornier,” he said.
“And we’ll have another set of personnel from the Guyana Defence Force sent for training on the Dornier. So, we’ll have another complement of human resource assets with another asset, to ensure our borders and to meet the expanding demands of national development,” President Ali added.
In January 2023, the idea of Guyana acquiring aircraft from India was initially raised when President Dr Irfaan Ali visited the Asian nation, where he toured Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in Kanpur and inspected their CG-767 Indian Coast Guard 18-seater Dornier aircraft, according to Guyana Times.
According to the reports which came after that visit, President Ali showed interest in purchasing two of the India-manufactured Dornier 228 aircraft for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), which has an aged fleet.
It was also labelled as Guyana’s first major defence deal with India. This move to procure defence assets from the Asian Government comes on the heels of the Irfaan Ali-led administration taking significant steps to modernise the GDF with the acquisition of new equipment and supplies as well as capacity building.
Furthermore, with several GDF members undergoing various levels of training with the Indian military, India and Guyana have already established strong defence cooperation, Guyana Times reported. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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