Brigadier Khan: Army has already ‘regrouped’ and focused on safeguarding territorial integrity

horrific helicopter crash in which five soldiers died, the country’s Army chief says the military has already “regrouped” and is focused on the main mission of protecting and defending the country’s territorial integrity.

Colonel Michael Shahoud was leading a team to visit soldiers on the western border in the face of the threat by Venezuela to seize the Essequibo region when the helicopter crashed on December 6, 2023.

Along with Colonel Shahoud, those killed in the crash were the pilot Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, Brigadier (R’td) Gary Beaton, and Warrant Officer Class 2 Jason Khan.

Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Brigadier Omar Khan addressed the 31st annual dinner and gala of the Private Sector Commission at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown and he spoke about the Army’s current state of readiness to continue its mission.

“I wish to assure all of you, that the GDF has already regrouped and is continuing the mission and that is, in the main, safeguarding our territorial integrity,” Brigadier Khan stated.

He said the past two weeks were challenging for the Army and he thanked those who have expressed support.

“Are we tough as soldiers? Yes, we are. Mentally, physically for sure. But we also, each of us, have alone times to reflect on these losses,” he said.

He said the men who died “have given excellent service to nation” and did served without any desire for recognition.

“This is the hallmark of military service – doing what is necessary to keep the country and people safe. We do that every single day,” Brigadier Khan declared.

He said that those who died have their lives “for a just cause.”

“The GDF will continue to serve this nation, without fair, favour or ill will,” Brigadier Khan stated.

He expressed hope that the private sector and the Army can develop their relationship and work together since they feed off of each other.

“We have a budget from the government, but we use that budget to acquire resources, goods and services from the private sector, and we use our resources to protect you and your businesses.