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Command of GDF Coastal Battalion changes

Outgoing Commanding Officer, Coastal Battalion, Lt Colonel Jaswick Williams hands over the Colours of the Coastal Battalion to its new CO, Major Collin Henry

Major Collin Henry is the new Commanding Officer of the Guyana Defence Force’s Coastal Battalion. Command of the battalion on Monday passed to Major Henry from its first Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jaswick Williams, who had been at the helm since March 2011, the defence force said in a statement.

In parting remarks, Lt Col Williams who is also proceeding on pre-retirement leave, reflected on what he deemed a challenging but rewarding journey. “When I joined the Guyana Defence Force, there was a military presence on the Essequibo Coast, and in fact, Suddie was my first deployment. Today we have a Battalion headquartered at Anna Regina with specific responsibility for Coastal Operations,” he said. Noting that the battalion was the GDF’s newest Unit, he lauded its professionalism over the past 33 months of its existence. “This battalion is in a fortunate position for its continuing development is consistent with the transformation taking place in the GDF, with respect to its operations, training, administration and logistics. Guyana is evolving and so too must the military if we are to remain relevant in today’s society. But, as we continue to evolve, as we continue our transformation process, I stand here today, proud that we have remained a professional and stable band, of which the rest of our society can be justifiably proud.”

Lt Col Williams thanked the leadership of the GDF for having faith in his ability to not only command, but build the battalion. He also thanked his wife who supported him throughout his career and all the officers and ranks whom he had the privilege to command. The regional administration and the civil society organisations along the Essequibo Coast, which supported the battalion and aided it with the conduct of its mandate, also came in for praise from Lt Col Williams.

The Change of Command was held at a simple yet significant ceremony at the compound of Guyana Fire Service’s Anna Regina compound, on the Essequibo Coast. Major Henry previously served and supported Williams as the battalion’s second in command for the past two years. On hand to witness the Change of Command Parade were Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips, Deputy Chief of Staff and Colonel General Staff Colonel Kemraj Persaud, other senior Officers of the Force, Regional Chairman, Region 2, Mr. Parmanand Persaud and other officers of   government agencies in Anna Regina.