TOPIC: THE GUYANA DEFENCE FORCE IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS, SOME PERSPECTIVES.
Positive civil-military relationship is vital for the fulfillment of the role and responsibilities of the military.
No Organization has all the capabilities, resources and expertise necessary to deal with complex challenges in a comprehensive manner in the twenty first century. These challenges are often trans-border, e.g. disease, crime, financial and humanitarian crises. They often require domestic and international cooperation and engagement of multiple governments and international organizations to facilitate effective planning and operations in order to coordinate the efforts of multiple civil, military and non-governmental agencies.
The foremost traditional role of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) as enshrined in the Constitution has been to defend the territorial integrity of Guyana. Another role of the Guyana Defence Force is to assist the civil power in the maintenance of law and order. The final role is to contribute to the economic development of Guyana when required to do so.
In this paper the researcher will show some perspectives of the GDF’s civil-military relations with government and non-government organizations through several units.
It is the researcher intention to cover the following areas: a.
Civil Defence both locally and in the Caribbean.
Disaster relief and search and rescue operations through partnership with the civil Defence Commission and the GDF on land, sea and in air. c.
Engineering Corps and its role in national development through state craft partnership. d.
Agriculture Corps role in agriculture development and its partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture. e.
“Hearts and Minds” operations in rural areas and schools by Medical Corps. f.
Air Corps and its support in the area of transportation in the interior location. g.
G5 Branch youth development and education.
Before one can adequately assess the topic and provide cogent arguments in support of the thesis, it is important that key words/phrases be satisfactorily defined. Civil-military may be defined as the relationship between civil society as a whole and the military organization established to defend it. Development may be defined as “to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community”. The role of the GDF in promoting national development refers to those efforts that the Force can undertake to help communities increase not only the quantitative measures of development (earnings capacity) but also the qualitative measures of development-greater life expectancy and reduced illiteracy. ENGINEERING- “Guyana’s Draft Second Development Plan, 1972-1976 which assigned specific responsibilities, to the Engineer Corps, for the construction of hinterland roads and bridges, the upgrading of airstrips, housing projects for low income earners and projects such as the rehabilitation of the hydro-electric power station at Tumatumari”. They were also deployed to assist in the construction of a road from Mahdia to Annai in the Hinterland. A Cooperative credit Union and a Housing Cooperative Society were formed to give individual soldiers and officers the opportunity to construct their own homes at state sponsored schemes at Melanie Damishana, Vryheid’s Lust and Crane villages, on an aided self-help basis.” (National Defence, 74).
This was not lost to the Force administration and is exemplified in the Force’s most recent commitment to engineering projects as detailed in the Stabroek News. “Five ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) received keys to new homes at Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo last week as part of a an ongoing partnership between Habitat for Humanity Guyana; the Ministry of...
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