New helicopter commissioned for Guyana Defence Force

GDF B412 Helicopter

Guyana’s president, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Saturday commissioned a new helicopter for Guyana Defence Force (GDF) moments after it arrived in Guyana. The BELL 412 EPI helicopter, which arrived at Base Camp Ayanganna around 4 p.m. is expected to enhance Defence Force’s transport fleet and security capabilities.

In his address at the ceremony, President Ali said the Government would continue to invest in boosting the capacities of its human resources.

“We’ve been investing continuously in training, upgrading and development of our human assets. With this acquisition comes a new era of training, an upgraded era of development, it brings with its new potential, new capacity and these are things we have to celebrate too.

We have spent a lot of resources in upgrading our human resources to take care of these assets and to ensure that we move towards a modern pool of capital acquisition that will improve our efficiency and enhance our national security,” the President said.

To this end, Dr.  Ali said on Monday, to complement the arrival of the helicopter, a team would leave to inspect the performance of the metal shark and to analyse the Force’s various marine assets. This is aimed at moving towards the acquisition of new marine assets to support the work of the Coast Guard, he said.

“This is the beginning of a new trend. Long before we get to the end of this year, we’ll see new assets acquired for our Coast Guard.  This is the beginning. As I said, we have to analyse the new requirements of our security sector based on our development path. Indeed, we have a lot more economic assets to protect.

We will have a larger economy [and] we have more sophisticated type of criminal activities to deal with, and all of this requires a modern, forward-looking, security architecture, and that is what we are building,” President Ali said.  

President Ali also noted that this was only the beginning of the advancements for the GDF.

“Especially our young people, I see that excitement on their faces, we are going to ensure we support the development of the physical assets and the human resources which is the greatest asset,” he said.

The President also said he was confident in the capability of the Air Corps to maintain these assets.  Additionally, he thanked the US Government for its continued support.

“We are very pleased with our strategic partner, the US, in ensuring that we have an avenue there also, to help us in acquiring these new assets, to support us. These are all the new relationships that we’re developing that are essential in building a stronger defence architecture.

We realise, and we know that our defence architecture has to be supported by the best diplomacy, and the greatest of partnership. We have to have partnerships, we have to recognise, also, that we have to have trusted partners, we have to have trusted partners – very important in our defence,” the President said.

President Ali also urged Guyanese, whom he said are the greatest partners in the nation’s security and development, to continue to support the work of the GDF to keep the borders safe.

Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn, National Security Advisor to the President, Captain Gerry Gouveia and US Ambassador to Guyana, Ms. Sarah-Ann Lynch also attended the ceremony.