By Adama Tine
As part of the strong bilateral relations existing between the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and the Republic of Turkey is a training package which includes an introduction to the Turkish language for 250 GAF personnel before they will eventually be airlifted to Turkey for a more advanced military training.
Speaking at the induction ceremony held at the Fajra Barracks on Monday, the Chief Of Defense Staff (CDS) General Yakuba Drammeh, said the training is designed exclusively to serve as a pace setter in preparing for deployment in Turkey as they will be introduced to the essence and importance of the Turkish language.
General Drammeh added that the training denotes what subsequent action will come afterwards as each of them has a critical assignment on how to perform, assimilate the instructions and also how they will comport themselves will determine their cause of action, noting that the Turkish language is a requirement of the training. He challenged the participants to give their best in terms of participation, strict adherence to the set rules and regulations but most importantly, to be able to transcend what they will be taught to the next level which he said will determine whether or not they could be part of Gamcoy 2.
“You cannot partake in those trainings if you do not have what it takes to effectively and efficiently partake in a training mode that is designed exclusively to prepare for a very noble assignment in a given peace operations”, he explained.
According to him, in 2014, GAF constituted part of the first contingent that was sent to the Sudanese region of Darfur and they represented the Gambia in an enviable track performance as part of the United Nations missions in Darfur, as well as in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other conflict areas.
General Drammeh added that during those missions, GAF served with distinctions and with commendable performance that they attributed to a large extent by the constructive training they received both individually and collectively at the GAF Training School.
In his statement, the Turkish Ambassador to the Gambia, Tolga Bermek said the Gambia and Turkey enjoy excellent relations since the Gambia gained independence in 1965.
“Our relations in the military and security fields are some of the main pillars of our relations and as a result, we have strong co-operation in those areas since the establishment of the Turkish Training Team for the Gambia military in February 1991”, he noted.