“When I took over as the commander of this elite unit in April 2020, one of my top priorities was to put the structure of the State Guards and formulate an action plan that would enable the leadership to systemically follow a framework for the effective and efficient command and administration of the Battalion,” he said.
Sait Njie, speaking at Gambia Armed Forces Training School in Bakau during the graduation ceremony of Mortar Training organised for members of the State Guards Battalion, said: “The main objective of this plan is anchored on capacity building aimed at honing individual skills of troops under command in relevant military disciplines. This was informed by the necessity to bring all troops to an acceptable standard after conducting a thorough needs analysis which identified gaps in knowledge, skills and abilities among serving troops who are posted to State Guards from various services.”
“In this regard, significant number of training activities have been designed and implemented during the 2021/2022 training cycle. These include training in diverse areas covering techniques, tactics and immediate action drills of VIP protection and basic security. Training on the weapon systems available at the State Guards inventory has also been given due prominence.”
“Meanwhile, I am happy to report that so far 211 personnel have benefitted from one form of training or the other during the period under review. Out of this number, 127 personnel have received training this year alone with more expected to undergo similar training before the end of the year. Significantly, these training have impacted positively on the performance of the Battalion as a whole,” he posited.
Njie added: “I am pleased to state that personnel of the State Guards Battalion have demonstrated high level of standards, discipline and professionalism in discharging their responsibilities. I will therefore, salute your hard work and dedication to duty, commend your sacrifice and the efforts spent thus far in the protection of the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Mr Adama Barrow. Let me further urge you to keep up the momentum and even improve on the standards where necessary.”
The State Guards Commanding Officer congratulated the graduates, saying: “The training they underwent is not only rigorous but associated with very high risks. Beside the risk of falling casualty from lethal accidents, the loud noise from mortar fire alone can permanently impair the hearing abilities of personnel in a mortar unit.”
“I have witnessed their Mortar Firing Exercise at Palody Range and I have seen the high level of confidence and proficiency displayed by all of them in deploying and firing the 81mm and 120mm Mortars respectively. Keep it up and make sure you use the knowledge gained to provide fire support for your colleagues when necessary.”
“Due to the lethal nature of mortars in causing high casualty rate, you must always remember that international humanitarian law attaches great importance to the protection of civilians during conflict. Therefore, never employ these heavy weapons where it will cause wanton destruction to innocent lives and properties.”