Strengthening the Seychelles maritime forces is a priority
Thu, 06 February 2014
President James Michel, the Commander-in-Chief of the Seychelles People's Defence Forces, visited the Seychelles Coast Guard base at Île du Port this morning. His visit followed his statement addressed to the officers of the Seychelles People's Defence Forces on the 01st January 2014, whereby he said that he would give special attention to all military institutions in Seychelles this year.
"There is a need to promote the importance of the Seychelles People's Defence Forces.. We can identify the challenges that exist, and finds ways to give it its true meaning as well as providing necessary resources so that the forces can better perform their duties. At the Seychelles Coast Guard, I wanted see for myself what constraints they are facing, and the resources that the need, so that they can be a stronger maritime force, which Seychelles needs," President Michel explained.
The President said that with the Blue Economy concept being promoted by Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and the world, it is important that the country has the appropriate maritime resources, and operations systems. He said that more assets will be given to Seychelles Coast Guard which will be important to the development of the maritime sector, one of the key pillars in the economic development of Seychelles.
In his welcoming address the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt. Col. Simon Dine noted that the second visit of the Commander-in-Chief this year shows great importance to all staff and stated that they will work hard to improve their operations.
"On our side we are re-looking at our strategic plan, while studying the current maritime security situation in the region and we also expect to take up new challenges to keep up- to-date with maritime security awareness in the world. As the smallest nation and smallest maritime force in the region we are going to work hard to be prepared to face any challenges that we may encounter," said Lt. Col. Simon Dine.
During that meeting, the President highlighted the importance of improving the welfare of the soldiers and called upon the people of Seychelles to be more understanding and give support to the officers.
"We have many youths in the Seychelles Coast Guard that are determined and ready to take responsibility...and these men are here day and night, ready to defend our country and sovereignty. It is because they are here 24 hours a day that the Seychelles nation can sleep in peace, so it is important not to forget them and give them support and encouragement," said the President during his interview with the press.
To note, a military hospital sponsored by the United Arabs Emirates and 36 housings units are being built for the SPDF staff Ile du Port. The President also said it is important that the military forces are well trained and have good living conditions, so that they can perform well in their work.
After the meeting, the President and his delegation toured the Maritime Operations Centre, visited the SGC ships and other facilities.
• The President was received by Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet, Chief of Staff, Colonel Clifford Roseline, , Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Michael Rosette, Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt. Col. Simon Dine, Ship Station Commander, Lt. Col. Simon Laurencine and Operation Commander, Lt. Col. Leslie Benoiton
• He was accompanied on this visit by the Secretary General of Executive Office of the President, Mrs. Lise Bastienne and Director General, Public Affairs, Mrs. Doreen Arnephy.