Politics

Major General Onwona takes over as new Chief of Army Staff

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Major General Bismarck Kwasi Onwona has replaced Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah as the new Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.

A handing over ceremony was held at the forecourt of the Odartey-Wellington Block of the Ghana Army Headquarters (AHQ), Burma Camp in Accra on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

 

It was presided over by the Deputy Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament for Atwima-Kwanwoma, Kofi Amankwa-Manu.

Major General Onwona until his elevation to the Chief of Army Staff was the Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College.

 

In his farewell speech, the outgone Major General Oppong-Peprah who is now the Chief of Defence Staff, expressed gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of Ghana Armed Forces, for his appointments, and thanked the Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff, for guiding him to deliver results-driven leadership as a Service Commander of the GAF.

In his four years as the Army Commander, Major General Oppong-Peprah envisioned “To produce a highly motivated, well-trained and well-equipped Army with quality Officers and Soldiers to achieve the tasks of the Army”, with an attitude of “Teamwork makes the dream work”, and that in the face of the daunting obstacles, “There will always be a hundred and one reasons why something cannot be done, but there will also be that one reason why it must be done”.

 

His vision was driven by a strategy to Increase the Footprint of the Army across the country; Revamp and Modernize Manpower and Equipment; and Enhance Welfare of Personnel, with an end state to ensure a more capable Army, positioned to professionally support the Ghana Armed Forces deliver on its Constitutional Mandate.

Implemented projects during Major General Oppong-Peprah’s tenure

1) Maintenance/repairs/spraying of all AHQ Vehicles including vehicles for Directors,

2) Maintenance/repairs/spraying and repairs of all ACOTA vehicles.

3) Renovation of Jubilee House Barracks.

4) Construction of Soldiers’ Transit Quarters at 5 Infantry Battalion (5BN),

5) Construction of Officers Motel behind Arakan Officers Mess.

6) Construction of Soldiers Accommodation at Ghana Military Police.

7) UNIFIL Purchases for all Commands and Units – Computers, Printers, Air Conditions.

8) Purchase of Fire extinguishers for AHQ.

9) Payment of Tiling for AHQ Block – skirting.

10) Purchase of All-in-One Computers for General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and Directors for videoconferencing at AHQ.

11) Purchase and installation of Air Conditions for ATRAC Simulation Centre.

12) Internet connectivity at all AHQ Blocks.

13) Construction of Car Port for all Directors and Staff.

14) Furnishing of Battle Training Camp (BTC), Bundase Conference/Ops Room and purchase of Kitchen Equipment.

15) Repair of Faulty Generator set at BTC, Bundase.

16) Purchase of Drones.

17) Purchase of Official Vehicle for Service Public Relations Office (SPRO).

18) Renovation of Northern Command (N/COMD) Armoury.

19) Repair of Operational Vehicles for all Commands and Units.

20) Construction of 150 units for Soldiers at Daboya Training Camp.

21) Water and electricity connection to Officers’ Transit Quarters.

22) DSTV Connection for Armour Training School.

23) Water connection to Artillery Training School, Akoefe Camp.

24) Rehabilitation of burnt Accommodation at Central Command.

25) Sewing of No 1 Working Dress for Cadets.

26) Construction of Armour Training School Intsructors’ Accommodation.

27) Construction of Ablution and Kitchenette at Bazua Barracks.

28) Construction works at Dokorkyina Detachment.

29) Construction of Soldiers Accommodation at 153 Armoured Regiment Barracks.

30) Fencing of Dokorkyina Detachment Camp.

31) Repair and Spraying of all Operation Calm Life Vehicles of Commands and Units.

32) Sponsored overseas courses for officers.

33) Repair of LMTV, Steyr, Navara Pick-Up & Operational vehicles.

34) Construction of 35-Bed Accommodation at Bundase (Oppong-Peprah Block).

35) Construction of 50-man Accommodation at BTC (Part of UN Village).

36) Construction of 2 X 100 Man Accommodation at BTC (Part of UN Village).

37) Renovation and construction works at Army Recruit Training School (ART).

38) Maintenance works at Jungle Warfare School (JWS).

39) Construction of 120 Desks and Dining Hall Tables at Air Force Training School.

40) Donation of computers and printers to Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) – Junior Division.

41) Printing of manuals for all Training Schools.

42) Donation of 15 Computers and 1 heavy duty printer to Army Training Command (ATRAC).

43) Donation of 2 Hyundai I 10 vehicles to DAIP Office.

44) Donation of Hyundai I10 vehicles to HQ N/COMD.

45) Renovation Works at Demo Lines, ACTS.

46) Establishment of 10 and 11 Mechanize Battalions.

47) Introduction of Quarterly Newsletter Bulletin.

48) Set up of Audio-Visual Office/Studio for SPRO.

49) Connection of pipe to 48 Engineer Regiment for water supply.

50) Construction of ablution units for Soldiers of 64 Infantry Regiment & 153 Armoured Regiment.

51) Roofing of ARTS Senior Non-Commissioned Officers’ (SNCO) Mess.

52) Purchase of Disinfectant Stations for all Training Schools during COVID.

53) Construction of Young Officers’ Accommodation at 1BN.

54) Donation of computers to GAFCSC Senior Division.

55) Construction of 320-bed accommodation at Armour Training School.

56) Construction of 100-bed accommodation at 64 Inf Regt.

57) Construction of 150-bed accommodation at 154 Armd Regt.

58) Construction of Army Special Operations Brigade (ASOB) HQ.

59) Construction of 1000-seater Multi-Purpose Hall at BTC.

60) Construction of 200-bed accommodation for Army Peace Operations Training School (APOTS) instructors.

61) Construction of 100-bed Female accommodation at BTC.

62) Establishment of APOTS.

63) UN Certification Recognition for APOTS.

64) Construction of Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Bui Power Authority.

65) Manufacture of Prototype Jeep.

66) Sewing of Fragmentation Jackets for Ops Maida Buuri.

67) Donation of computers to 37 Military Hospital Public Health Department.

68) Purchase of office equipment for Army Recruit Mobile Reserve Team (ARMRT), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC).

69) Establishment of 17 Signal Brigade.

70) Establishment of 81 Signal Regiment.

71) Establishment of 87 Signal Regiment.

72) Establishment of 851 EOD Regt.

73) Establishment of 155 Armd Regt.

74) Establishment of ASOB.

75) Establishment of 15 Armoured Brigade.

76) Establishment of 12 Mechanized Battalion.

77) Introduction of Battalion Commanders Course.

78) Renovation of Instructors accommodation at Armour Training School.

79) Construction of Modern Theatre and purchase of equipment at 3MRS, 80) Renovation of ACTS Infantry Platoon Accommodation.

81) Repair of accident vehicles at ACTS.

82) Construction of 12 Mechanized Battalion Barracks.

83) Purchase of 200KVA Generator set for JWS.

84) Purchase of 45,000 pieces of BDU Camouflage Uniforms for Army Personnel.

85) Connection of Internet facility at BTC.

86) Purchase of Bus and Sports Equipment for Army Sports Team.

87) Establishment of Family Life Counseling Centers in 4, 5 and 6 Garrisons.

88) Construction of 100 and 50-bed capacity accommodation units at ASOTS Daboya.

89) Construction of accommodation units at 155 Armd Regt.

90) Renovation of dilapidated ablution at BTC for troops.

91) Construction of Officers’ ablution units at BTC.

92) Construction of 320-bed BK Akafia Transit Lodge and Oppong-Peprah Block Officers Transit Accommodation at Burma Camp.

93) Supply of tertiary desk for APOTS.

94) Construction of Kitchen facility at Dokorkyina Camp.

95) Construction of Drill Square at ASOTS – Daboya.

96) Renovation of Commanding Officer’s accommodation and SNCO’s accommodation at Artillery Training School.

97) Introduction of Annual Field Training Exercise (FTX) – Ex Eagle Claws.

98) Provision of Genset to ASOTS, Daboya.

99) Introduction of Collaborative System-Paperless System at AHQ.

100) Introduction and funding of Army Electronic-Library project.

101) Renovation of 17 Signal Brigade Headquarters.

102) Construction of Soldiers’ ablution units at 1 Signal Regiment.

103) Completion of 800-seater Dining Hall project at ARTS.

104) Funding for completion of Officers accommodation and Junior Ranks Mess at 2BN.

105) Construction of Modern Washrooms at JWS for recruits.

106) Reconfiguration of 122 Multiple Rocket Launchers for 66 Artillery Regiment.

107) Renovation of Young Officers Accommodation at 3 Infantry Battalion.

108) Construction of Filling Station and Mechanized Transport (MT) Yard at 10 Mechanized Battalion.

109) Renovation of MT Yard at 6Bn.

110) Construction of 100-bed accommodation at Mognori.

111) Renovation of outpost accommodation for 11 Mechanized Battalion.

112) Construction of 50-bed accommodation at BTC (part of UN Village).

113) Construction of 100-bed accommodation at BTC (part of UN Village).

114) Construction of Lecture Hall at ASOTS, Daboya.

Commanders at various levels were equally inspired to mobilize resources to undertake projects in their Units/Formations, which many projects have been delivered, besides the listed above.

Personages present at the Handing/Taking Over ceremony included the Chief Director, Ministry for Defence – Dr Evans Dzikum; Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Issah Adams Yakubu; Commandants, Ghana Military Academy, Training and Doctrines Commandants, Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre – Maj Gen Charles Abede Asomaning Awity, Maj Gen R/Adm Eric Adu, Maj Gen Richard Addo Gyane.

Others are; Deputy Chiefs of Staff, General Headquarters – Maj Gen Joseph Prince Osei-Owusu, Air Vice Marshal Michael Appiah-Agyekum, Maj Gen Joseph Aphour, Chief, Defence Intelligence – Maj Gen Abraham Yeboah Nsiah; Commander, OPS KOUDNLGOU – Maj Gen Michael Amoah Ayisi; Commander, Air Force Base, Accra (Representing the Air Force Commander) – Air Commodore Eric Agyen-Frempon; Chief Staff Officers, Army and Air Force – Brigadier General Barima Brako Owusu and Air Commodore Eric Yirenkyi, respectively.

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