A Benz Troop Carrier truck
The United States (US) Government has presented five Mercedes Benz troop carrying trucks to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at a ceremony in Accra.
The trucks valued at $1.6 million dollars included spare-parts and are to be deployed for peace keeping operations in Liberia and Mali.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz who handed over the trucks said the acquisition was made possible through the US Government’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme to help allies and friends improve their defence capabilities.
The FMF programme he explained provides grants and loans to assist foreign nations purchase US military equipment, services and training so as to “Improve their defence capabilities while strengthening cooperative bilateral military relationships to enhance interoperability with US forces.”
Mr. Cretz stated that the programme introduced in Ghana in 1986 has seen the US government granting over $10.7 million to the GAF to purchase military equipment, services and training, adding.
“Ghana has spent these funds on a wide spectrum of items including trucks, helicopter, boat engins, medical equipments anti-piracy equipment including both software and hardware required for up to data computer network”.
He said three additional trucks and their spare-parts are in the process of being acquired and assured that adequate funding will be provided to train personnel in all branches of the GAF.
The care-taker Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith, said the US government’s support to the GAF would enhance its efficiency and professional capacity, adding the Ghana Armed Forces had benefitted and continue to enjoy varied support that had improved its level of professionalism, technical and tactical proficiency of personnel”.
He commended the US government for providing quantities of M16 riffles and M30 morters as well as improving the base infrastructure at the Bundase Training camp to support peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts.
Lt. Gen Joseph Henry Smith (second from left) receiving the keys to the vehicles from the US Ambassador, Mr Gene Cretz.