Striving for more professionalism in the Air Force
Thu, 06 March 2014
President James Michel, the Commander-in-Chief of the Seychelles People's Defence Forces visited the Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Seychelles Air Force (SAF) and the Dog Unit at Pointe Larue this morning. The visits form part of a series of visits the President is undertaking in all military institutions in Seychelles this year.
The President said that his visits to those three military branches was opportunity for him to see the constraints they are encountering, what needs to be done in the future to improve the facilities and ensure the expansion of the SAF. He also discussed the future of the SDA, which will have a unit at Pointe Larue to safeguard the Seychelles International Airport once it is transferred to the new Military Academy at Ile Perseverance.
At the Seychelles Defence Academy, the President was given a presentation on the SDA structure, Training plans, challenges and projects among others by the Acting Commandant SDA, Major Vincent Luther. The meeting followed by a guided tour of the SDA as well as viewing of a drill demonstration by new recruits at the Parade square.
“The current area of the SDA is required for the construction of an alternative runway at the airport, which is necessary as we modernize the airport and its services .... It is important that we have an airport with two runways in case of emergencies and we planned its transition as well as the training for the future as we strive towards more professionalism in the force. Training is key to developing professionalism in an institution. So today we’ve examined all these parameters and we have also looked at the plans we need to put in place for the future,” said the President following the visit.
The President and his delegation then visited the Seychelles Air Force. He was welcomed by the Commanding Officer of the SAF, Major Michael Pouponeau, the EUCAP Nestor representative, Björn Erlandsson and other SAF military Officers. The President was given a tour of the SAF facilities, and he also viewed the aircrafts.
Mr. Michel said that SAF is a very important component in the defence forces, in view of the fight against piracy, protecting our territory and for the development of the Blue Economy concept. Apart from the Coast Guard branch, this component plays an important role in detecting anything at sea and inland.
“The Seychelles Air Force safeguards our sovereignty and our EEZ, defending our assets, protecting our resources, so it was important to see how they manage these assets and the plans we have for the future in order to safeguard their resources that are becoming more and more important for our national development.” said President Michel.
President Michel said that he was impressed to note that many young people have taken up a career in the Seychelles Air Force either as pilots, technicians or in other air-surveillance operations. He reaffirmed that opportunities will be available for other young people interested to join this Defence Force component and he called on young people to join the Seychelles Air Force.
The President and his delegation concluded the visit at the Dog Unit, of the SPDF.
• The President was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet, Secretary General of the Executive Office of the President, Mrs. Lise Bastienne, Chief of Staff, Colonel Clifford Roseline, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt. Col. Simon Dine, Commanding Officer, Military Academy Major Vincent Luther, Director General Public Affairs in the Office of the President, Mrs. Doreen Arnephy and other officials.