Change of command at Keetmanshoop army base

16 Mar 2016 19:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 16 MAR (NAMPA) – A change of command ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi Barracks to welcome incoming Brigadier-General Epimacus Tshavuka and bid farewell to retiring Brigadier-General Peter Nghilukilwa.
The latter retired in February after two years as commander of the Keetmanshoop-based 12 Motorised Infantry Brigade and a total of 26 years in the Namibia Defence Force (NDF).
Speaking at the ceremony, Nghilukilwa said he was proud to have served in uniform for 41 years.
“I left my country in 1974 and joined the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) in 1975, spending 15 years in the liberation struggle of Namibia prior to joining the NDF.”
Nghilukilwa said during his term at the southern-based brigade, his commitment was to produce a highly trained, disciplined and motivated force.
Thanking the ministry and officers alike, Nghilukilwa mentioned some of the achievements of his unit and elaborated on structural developments currently taking place at the base.
“All thanks to the Almighty God who granted me health and strength throughout my active years of service. It has been an immense honour to be part of the team who dedicate their lives to defend our country.”
Handing over the symbol of command to his successor, Nghilukilwa asked for support from the regional community for Tshavuka.
Before commanding the final parade of the ceremony, Nghilukilwa said he would discharge his responsibility with honesty, diligence, vigour and determination to take the unit to greater heights.
He said he would focus on enhanced training and execution of all operational codes of the force.
“Training will be priority number one to prepare soldiers today to be ready to fight the war tomorrow.”
Tshavuka said that wayward behaviour during his reign would not be tolerated.
“I want my voice to be loud and clear; absent without official leave, indiscipline, alcohol and drug abuse will be revealed and shamed, and culprits will be brought to book,” he said.
The veteran soldier, who was promoted from a chief position in Otjiwarongo, proposed the naming of a training area outside Keetmanshoop as the Peter Nghilukilwa Training Base in tribute to his predecessor.
Several national heads of the NDF and local political representatives attended the parade ceremony.
Also present were Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Lucia Witbooi and /Khowese clan Captain Salomon Witbooi of Gibeon representing the Witbooi family.
The Keetmanshoop military base was named after their ancestor Hendrik Witbooi in October last year.