Oct 21, 2013, 10:20 AM
In a bid to address the menace of drug trafficking in the African region, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) International Training Division on Monday started conducting a training course in
The course was initiated as part of the
The five-day training course will cover boarding preparation and procedures, stopping incorporate vessels, conduct of high risk search techniques, detection of hidden illicit items and identification.
Speaking at the formal opening of the course, the
According to the
Noting that The Gambia has demonstrated the political will to stop narcotics trafficking in the region, the
"Through the support of the U.S Africa Command's Counter Narcotics and Law Enforcement Assistance Division, this basic boarding officer course conducted by the United States Coast Guard will help support The Gambia to build competencies, and capabilities in addressing the maritime challenges surrounding narcotics trafficking," he said.
Ambassador Wells revealed that the USCG is a critical component of the
"They possessed a highly specialised set of skills that ensures we remain at a state of readiness to protect our nation. Our national defence capabilities are essential to military operations in peacetime, crisis and war," he stated, adding that the USCG has taken on great challenges to protect our nation.
"This week you will learn some of the best defence techniques in the world, and we certainly hope that it will bring us closer to eradicating security threats in our seas," the chief
Brigadier General Sering Modou Njie, the Chief of Army Staff, also spoke at the ceremony, and noted that the training course is quite relevant and important to the Gambia Navy's drive to enhance its human resources capacity in order to fulfil its constitutional mandate as the maritime arm of the Gambia Armed Forces.
Brig. Gen. Sering Modou Njie noted that some of the major roles of the navy include but not limited to the protection of life and property at sea, anti-toxic waste dumping in The Gambia's territorial waters, prevention of smuggling of illicit substances, such as drugs and illegal items, prevention of poaching, and illegal human trafficking.
The Chief of Army Staff said that the Gambia Navy over the period has continued to grow in size, in terms of personnel and platoons. Thus, the need to enhance their techniques and skill cannot be over-emphasized, he said.
The army chief urged the participants to explore what he called the rare opportunity, while commending the US Embassy in