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Ghana Army to relocate Teshie shooting range

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The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) shooting Gallery along the Teshie –La road will be relocated to Bundase for threats of encroachment, Defence Minister Lieutenant General Joseph Smith said on Thursday.

“Guided by the factors that made GAF lose Teshie, Bundase emerged as a possible viable alternative,” he said during question time in Parliament.

He lamented that a total area surveyed in 1976 was 165.503 acres but current survey on March 5, 2009 placed the area size at 67.67 acres.

“This means that in 33 years the range has yielded 97.833 acres to development making a loss rate of 3 acres a year” he said, adding that if this persisted, the GAF would have a deadline of 23 years after which there would be nothing left.

According to him, the facts constituted a threat not just to the Teshie Shooting Gallery but all military lands in the country.

Lt Smith said a technical Task Force was set up to assess the logistic requirements for the relocation but added however that “Bundase lacked a number of essential range facilities.

He identified such facilities as stop targetry firing points, storage for range facilities like accommodation for range warden, weapon training sheds, waiting places, ablution points, communication equipment and warning flag posts.

Lt Smith said a lot of pre-operational training for the forces happened in Bundase so it needed a shooting range.

He noted that every garrison needed a shooting range because each soldier required going through classification exercise three times within a year to be able to be in good shape for operations.

Lt Smith stated that since 2009, a comprehensive reassessment of the Ghana’s defence status and future out look had generated new competing priorities such as maritime, oil and gas security and complete restructuring and reequipping of the forces.

“Unexpected flush points such as Yendi and Bawku have persistently remained fragile and expensive living with the degree of uncertainty surrounding it”, he said.

Ghana Armed Forces, according to him, was in a comprehensive process of reviewing its lands and land use policy because of the many challenges it faced in holding on to its property possessed close to a century.

He noted that the draft policy had already been discussed with the Armed Forces Council the Attorney General’s Department and the Lands Commission including all its regional directorates.

The conclusions to these consultations, he indicated, would have far reaching consequences for the relocation of the Teshie Gallery (Shooting) Range among other things and assured the House that the relocation of the shooting range was very important to the defence ministry.

Source: GNA

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