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President Hage Geingob wants to see every Namibian identify themselves with the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).

He says such aspirations identify with the government's vision to build an inclusive society.

Dr. Geingob, as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, presided over the defence parade at the Lieutenant-General Jerobeam Dimo Hamaambo Garrison at Grootfontein today.

Clad in camouflaged military regalia, President Geingob addressed the Defence Parade, which he said was in tribute to the role the NDF continues to play in Namibian affairs.
   
While significant progress has been made since the NDF's establishment, more needs to be done to modernise the force as per its defence policy.

But the most recent intake of about 1,400 new members shows each of the 14 regions having a minimum of 103 recruits.

''Since 1996, 27 years ago, when the Namibian Defence Force embarked upon its first recruitment exercise, I have not witnessed a recruitment that was as well-planned, well-managed, and highly representative as the one that was conducted this year. I therefore wish to commend the leadership of the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs for a job well done. Let the formula that was used in this recruitment serve as a model for future recruitment exercises. I want to see every tribe, every race, every ethnic group, and every region identify itself with the Namibian Defence Force in order to exemplify the government's aspiration of building an inclusive society and a Namibian House where no one should feel left out.''

The army receives the third-largest chunk of the national budget, but financial constraints continue to affect its daily operations.

President Geingob said resource constraints are not unique but should not be used to compromise quality.

''The lack of adequate financial resources should not lead to the situation where quality is traded for quantity by procuring large numbers of low-quality military equipment and hardware simply because they are affordable. This move is tantamount to compromising national security. Weapon systems and military hardware that meet our defence needs should be prioritised and procured in order to capacitate our defence force to fight and prevail in modern warfare environments.''

The defence parade at the Lieutenant-General Jerobeam Dimo Hamaambo Garrison was the first since Dr. Geingob took office.

The garrison is of particular historical significance as it is named after the founding Chief of Defence, the late General Dimo Hamaambo, and that significance was not lost on the military leadership by Air Marshall Martin Pinehas, Chief of Defence.

''From this very garrison, we have witnessed men and women being ferried by air and road to go and defend the territory and national interests of our Republic. It is here that we have celebrated our victories and also mourned our comrades who sacrificed their lives in furtherance of national interests. Out:

The Defence Parade consisted of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, with the President inspecting three battalions and the wings of the Air Force.

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Photo Credits
Namibian Presidency

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Author
Blanche Goreses