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COS receives Brazilian Military Attache during Courtesy Call.

Incoming Brazilian Military Attache, Colonel Emerson Da Silva, received a warm welcome from Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West and a team from Defence Headquarters, during a Courtesy Call at the Office of the Chief of Staff, on March 30 last.

Colonel Emerson Da Silva has taken over from Colonel Oswaldo Ramao who has completed his two-year rotation in Guyana.

Brigadier West extended his appreciation to Colonel Ramoa and welcomed Colonel Da Silva to Guyana and to the Guyana Defence Force.

Guyana and Brazil continue to enjoy excellent bilateral relations.


The GDF Coast Guard this morning added two spanking new Metal Shark 38ft DEFIANT boats to its fleet. Commander in Chief and President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, David Granger,  handed over the keys to GDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, at the ceremony at which the boats were commissioned.  The new vessels were christened the GDFS 1033 and GDFS 1034.

Addressing the assemblage at this morning’s commissioning ceremony, the Commander in Chief emphasised the necessity for the purchase of the vessels. He explained the challenges to the nation’s security posed by the breadth of waterways which crisscross Guyana, adding that the several and increased economic activities in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone, demanded a more robust posture toward the safety and security of the nation’s economic and territorial patronage.

In brief remarks, Brigadier Patrick West explained that the decision to purchase the two vessels was sprung, following the excellent performance of three similar vessels which had been acquired from the USA under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. “Some time ago, in 2014, the GDF commissioned three similar Metal Shark vessels, the GDFS 1028, GDFS 1029 and the GDFS 1030. The sterling performances of those vessels, demonstrated that they were the ideal platform for conducting surveillance, interdictions, and countering illegal maritime activities,” he said. The COS thanked the government of Guyana for its support in ensuring that the current acquisitions were made. He pledged that the new assets would be professionally utilised in the conduct of the Coast Guard’s remit.

The new additions, pegged at $140 million apiece, bring to seven, the total number of such boats owned by the Coast Guard. The “Sharks” were purchased from the USA, and their acquisition signals forward movement on the required recapitalisation of the Coast Guard.  

The new and larger vessels are each equipped with three 300-horsepower engines. With such engine power, the boats will have much longer endurance over their older counterparts. They also offer more “crew comfort”, and as such, the vessels can stay operational for longer periods of time.

It is mandatory for the Coast Guard to patrol Guyana’s waters, seeking to stem the tide of illegal maritime activities ranging from fuel smuggling and narco-trafficking, to piracy. The Coast Guard is also required to patrol the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which includes its marine fisheries’ assets and newly discovered hydrocarbon deposits; it must also seek to ensure the safety and security of the lawful exploration activities being conducted by foreign investors in the EEZ.


Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, this morning declared open the 2017 Warrant Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Conference, at Base Camp Ayanganna. The two-day conference is being held under the theme "Effective Transformation for Total National Defence."

In his address to the assembled Warrant Officers (WOs) and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), Brigadier West alluded to significant changes that are to occur in the Force during his tenure. "I believe that transformation has to be effective in order to meed the needs of our mandate to the society," he said. Under my tenure as Chief of Staff, I believe that critical changes have to occur within the Force."

To this end, Brigadier West emphasised that despite the Force having to effectively utilise intelligence, understand and engage its role in the economy, recapitalise its Units, and embrace technology, it must maintain regimentation and discipline. He reminded the WOs and SNCOs that theirs was the remit to ensure that regimentation and discipline remained at the highest and most professional levels. "Warrant Officers and Senior NOCs must play their part in realising internal stability in the Force. This means that you must foster and sustain cohesiveness, unity, harmony and bedrock militarisation," he said.

The gathering was encouraged to read widely and also to learn of the achievements and mistakes of those who preceded them. "Embrace history in order or make unhindered great leaps into the future," the COS said.

Brigadier West charged the gathering of WOs and SNCOs to "design" a career Path for graduates of the Leader Sergeants' Course, and to address the organisation of the course with a view to making it stronger.




The Guyana Defence Force Corps of Officers has been enhanced, with the addition of eleven young officers who received their Instruments of Commission from Commander in Chief, President David Granger, on the morning of March 22, at State House. Nine of the newly-commissioned officers graduated from the GDF Standard Officers’ Course Number 49, alongside two from the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and another from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF); they were formally presented to the public as officers, at the Commissioning Parade at Base Camp Ayanganna, later in the afternoon.


Two of the Force’s 11 new officers, Lieutenant (CG) Czerda Frank and Midshipman Rodwin Paul, were members of SOC #45 and SOC #48, before being selected for overseas training in the United States.


Second Lieutenant Francisco Choc of the BDF was presented with the Sword of Honour by President Granger, at the Commissioning Parade. Choc finished the course as the Under-Officer (Best Graduating Student). The lone female graduate of the course, GDF Officer Second Lieutenant Brandi Johnson, finished in the Runner-Up spot.


Addressing the graduates of SOC #49, at the Commissioning Parade, Commander in Chief, President David Granger charged them to "…constantly upgrade their skills and strive for higher learning particularly in the areas of modern science, technology and engineering so that the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) can better serve the country." The charge was given after the Head of State acknowledged the rationale for the Standard Officers Course. “The Standard Officers’ Course is much more than smart apparel and sharp drill. It is about training generations of cadets to live among our people and to operate in our country’s complex environment by day or night, in any weather or terrain – on the beaches, mudflats, grasslands, highlands, islands of the Essequibo, wetlands, rainforests, rivers and waterfalls…The Officer Cadet School selects, trains and tests future officers. It graduates officers who are expected to accumulate more field experience and to pursue higher education; who are expected to become exemplars of the defence doctrine which forms the basis of Guyana’s military administration, organisation and operations,” he said.


The Commander in Chief explained that Guyana’s national defence doctrine implies that all of the elements of national power – economic, military, political, social and technological – will be employed to reinforce defence and promote economic development. In this regard he stressed that officers “… must master modern science, technology and engineering.” The Force, he said, must strengthen its aviation, communications, engineering and maritime arms and must share the burden of building aerodromes, bridges, highways and stellings to improve transportation. The Force must contribute to national communications and transportation by bringing our communities closer to one another.


Apart from its mandate to ensure Guyana’s territorial integrity, the Force is also constitutionally mandated to contribute to national development.


Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West, together with all Officers, Other Ranks, and civilian employees of the Guyana Defence Force congratulate PO Leslain Baird on this latest feat!

Keep Rising PO Leslain Baird!

Keep reaching higher!