St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Capt. P. Kayode Sutton and his colleagues are now equipped to command Units and Sub-Units and perform Staff duties at senior levels of the GDF and the SKNDF.
Guyana’s Lieutenant Commander Roger Nurse gained top honours as Best Graduating Student and also copped the award for presenting the Best Research Paper. Major Kester Craig was the runner-up.
Congratulating the graduating officers, Chief of Staff (COS), Brigadier Mark Phillips emphasised that leadership is about responsibility. “When you are in command, Command!” he charged, “Performance, professionalism, upholding the values and standards of the GDF are very important, as you leave this course.”
“This course is the most senior course of the GDF and it brings together the triumvirate of defence, development and diplomacy as it pertains to Guyana. You have been immersed in content that has broadened your knowledge and you ought now and always to be able to speak with confidence on issues. If you are to lead you must master the ability to research, analyse and communicate effectively,” he said
Reminding the officers that they were now moving into another phase of their careers, the COS entreated them to adapt their minds to higher levels of strategic and operational thinking. He explained that this was critical, since the contemporary operating environment of the GDF was evolving and the threats to Guyana’s development were becoming more diverse.
“We must continue inter-agency cooperation by refining existing protocols, by investing in the design of new mechanisms for continuous collaboration, and by formulating more coherent policies to better coordinate the work of our defence and security agencies, in order to achieve better operational results.” he said. “Our future plans, will be the fruits of your labour as you apply critical thinking techniques to solve the problems associated with the uncertainties of our contemporary operating environment.”
The 16-week course covered areas such as Military law, Command and Leadership, Intelligence and Security and Peace Operations along with other related military modules. Each officer was required to prepare, present and defence a research paper as a requirement for graduation.
The officers visited several Guyanese state and non-state agencies including the Civil Defence Commission the Private Sector Commission and The Ministry of Natural resources and Environment, and also paid a visit to the Brazilian Army’s Amazon Command.