The President of the Republic of Seychelles and Commander in Chief of the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan was the guest of honour at the official launching of the Defence Forces Week 2023, which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Embracing the future’. The event took place yesterday morning at the Military Training and Support Centre, Ile Perseverance.
To celebrate Defence Forces Day, which falls on November 25, many activities have been organised such as an exhibition, firing competition, forum, and family fun day among others.
The launching commenced with prayer and reflection by the SDF Chaplain Lt Colonel, Louis Agathine.
Delivering his remarks at the ceremony, President Ramkalawan commended the soldiers, sailors, coast guards and airmen of the Seychelles Defence Forces for their continued devotion. He emphasised on maintaining the highest level of discipline and praised those who are furthering their studies.
“As servicemen and women you are here to protect the country’s integrity and defend our Nation’s peace and security. I urge all of you to maintain a high level of discipline at all times and to put politics aside. I am satisfied to see that some of you are challenging yourself to upgrade your knowledge and to become specialists in different domains such as law, and health. Rest assured of the government’s continued support,” said President Ramkalawan.
The President also underlined his satisfaction with the number of recruits who have completed their training. There he called upon more women to join the Seychelles Defence Forces as there are many career opportunities.
The President highlighted the different projects that are being put in place to upgrade the communication system of the force and future infrastructures. To those who participated in the Indian Ocean Island Games 2023 and won gold medals, he congratulated them and encouraged other women and men in uniform to participate in similar activities. He encouraged them to continue in the same spirit and to remain as a team.
On his part, delivering his message for the Seychelles Defence Forces Day, the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette paid tribute to the men and women who have answered this noble call of service, “More than ever, Seychelles Defence Forces honour the bravery, tenacity, and willpower of all its service personnel. As we commemorate this remarkable day, we take pride in the fact that our Defence Forces are a singular representation of our strength and togetherness,” he said.
He reaffirmed the commitment to having dynamic and modernized Defence Forces suited to represent the country at the highest level, whilst maintaining existing relationships will all civil authorities as well as honouring and maintaining international engagements. He underlined that is it important that society is educated about the force, its significance, and its applicability in society and this modern interconnected world so that they can understand the sacrifices.
The ceremony was also marked by an opening speech by the Chairman of the Defence Forces Day Committee, Lieutenant Colonel Allain Pierre. He also gave a short presentation on SDF's yearly achievements and a video of the major achievements.
Also present at the opening ceremony were Vice President, Mr. Ahmed Afif, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ted Barbe, Seychelles Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Attala, Members of the Defence Forces Council, Defence Committee, senior officers, Defence Forces Day Committee, officers, non-commission officers and other ranks, civilian staff and other distinguished guests.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.