It is with the joy of Christmas and New Year that I extend my warmest felicitations and best wishes of joy, peace, and goodwill to all Officers, Ratings, and Defence Civilian Staff of the Ghana Navy and your families. By the grace of the Almighty God, the Year 2022 is gradually drawing to a close, bringing us yet another new year of hopes and aspirations.
Undoubtedly, 2022 has been a challenging year globally, with COVID-19 pandemic and other global issues creating some adverse economic conditions even for our dear country. However, your resilience, hard work, and loyalty have ensured a peaceful social environment, unlike many other countries. I entreat you all to uphold the Constitution and remain professional in the face of the daunting challenges; that is our only hope of recovery as a nation.
The Year 2022 has been marked by a number of significant achievements by the Ghana Navy. Notable among these include the addition of four (4) new Offshore Security Vessels to our fleet. It is noteworthy to state that it was 10 years ago that such number of ships were commissioned into the Ghana Navy fleet. All processes have been completed for the addition of another two (2) Ex-US Coast Guard Marine Protector Class Vessels to the fleet by April next year. The contract for two (2) new Offshore Patrol Vessels has reached its final stages and would hopefully be signed before the end of the year.
In the area of infrastructure, many accommodation blocks have been added to our stock and others are at advanced stages of completion. The contract for 2,000 housing units using our Family Lodging Allowance as collateral has also been signed and we are awaiting the contractor to mobilise to site. The Forward Operating Base at Ezinlibo is progressing steadily and is expected to be completed in early 2024. These major projects would be transformational for the Ghana Navy and we can only look into the future with hope. Other achievements include the launch of the Ghana Navy Paperless System as well as major milestones in the development of our Special Boat Squadron into a world-class all-terrain Special Forces.
By the end of the year, over eight -hundred (800) recruits would have been trained and added to our strength. This is by far the highest number of recruits ever trained by the Ghana Navy in a year. Although the year under review has been quite challenging, your loyalty, vigilance, dedication, and professional posture have enabled us to make these significant achievements.
I must commend you all for your professionalism and commitment to your duties during the year. I want to specially thank all our spouses and families who have stood beside us throughout the year. It has been their loving care, prayers, and support which have seen us this far. As we celebrate this joyous occasion and rejoice in our good fortune of entering another year, let us spare a thought for our colleagues and dear ones who were called to eternity during the course of the year. While we pray for their souls to rest in peace, let our thoughts and prayers still be with those they left behind. Our thoughts and prayers are also with our colleagues serving in different peacekeeping missions around the world as well as those deployed around the country and at sea to keep us safe.
I wish you and your beloved families a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.!!!