Commissioner of Police George Asiamah (Rtd), Director Counter Terrorism, Ministry of National Security has announced a multi-agency simulation exercise codenamed: ‘’Exercise Home Shield’’, to counter terrorism.
COP Asiamah, who disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference in Accra, said the simulation exercise is to mimic real life professional scenarios for an objective assessment of the capabilities of Counter Terrorism respond agencies.
‘’In a nutshell it is a form of rehearsal to sharpen our capability to respond to terrorist attack and recover from it.
‘’It is an Exercise which seeks to ensure that appropriate Command and Control arrangements are surely in place, problems and shortcomings identified and corrected in advance and for different organisations to become accustomed to working effectively together. It will also improve interoperability of emergency services and security agencies’’, he said.
COP Asiamah said they would put in place a crises communication team, comprising the Military, Police, National Ambulance Service, Fire Service, Ghana Health Service, Prison Service, Information Services Department, NADMO and the Ghana Immigration Service.
He said the communication team would be made up of Public Relation Officers from the security services who have been assigned to coordinate media activities throughout the exercise.
He said terrorism was a serious security threat to international peace and security and a global menace, which requires both national and international counter measures.
He said the threat posed by terrorist networks, organisations and individuals has assumed dramatic shifts in its methodology and modus operandi.
Hitherto, he said a phenomenon, that was considered to be isolated vicious crimes has now assumed new and alarming proportions with devastating consequences.
He said a key manifestation of contemporary terrorism in West Africa has been its transnational nature, whereby an attack executed in one location may be premeditated in another with human and material resources from multiple other locations.
He further stated that Ghana was not an exception to the increasing threat of terrorism, adding that, while Ghana has not directly experienced attack on home soil regional, global trends and recent incidents in neighbouring states gives serious cause for concern.
‘’As Ghanaians we take pride in our strong communal value systems, which are rooted in the extended family structure and traditional local cultures.
‘’Building a resilient Ghanaian society to tackle terrorism demands the use of our shared values embedded in our customs and traditions.
‘’We are going to embark on very serious measure of building resilience through the development of intellectual and human capital needs of all actors at the centre of the fight against terrorism. We need to build and sustain a community of counter terrorism professionals through multi-disciplinary training and refresher courses periodically to sustain our alertness.
‘’We have started public education and awareness programme which would be rolled out soon”, he said.