Seychelles launches Defence Forces Week 2023 |21 November 2023
- Focuses on future and service
The Seychelles Defence Forces officially launched the Defence Forces Week for the year 2023 yesterday morning at the Military Training Support Centre, Perseverance, under the theme ‘Embracing our future’.
In his keynote address, President Wavel Ramkalawan, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, congratulated the men and women for answering the call to serve the country and for maintaining their discipline.
He said that throughout the three years, he has worked closely with the Defence Forces council and Chief of the Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette and a lot has been accomplished, not just in terms of projects, but in terms of welfare of the officers.
“I am happy to say that when we are looking at moral and recruitment, there has been a lot of progress that has been done.”
President Ramkalawan stated that SDF provides a career path that will help individuals develop. However, he emphasised that in order to do that, there was a need to remain disciplined. He encouraged young women who have the strength and energy, to join the SDF.
The head of state also highlighted various ongoing projects including the installation of surveillance systems on Praslin and Farquhar and other spots being identified in the country that will improve communication between the SDF and other military organisations for better surveillance of the territory. “The only fight that we are involved in is protecting our country.”
In his address, the Chief of the Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette, said the week is observed to express gratitude, admiration and support to the men and women who have answered the noble call of service.
“More than ever, SDF honours the bravery, tenacity, and willpower of all its service personnel.”
Brigadier Rosette said it should never be forgotten that the main reason the men and women chose the line of work was to protect and defend the country. The day calls for even greater emphasis on the safeguard of the sovereignty of Seychelles by remaining alert to newly emerging threats that may affect the prime condition for development, which is securing peace and stability.
He noted that when reflecting on the day, there was a renewed commitment to have a dynamic and modernised defence forces suited to represent the country at the highest level, while maintaining existing relationships with all civil authorities as well as honouring and maintaining the international engagement.
For his part, the chairperson of the Defence Forces Day Committee, Lieutenant Colonel Allain Pierre, said a series of activities has been planned throughout the week to celebrate their existence, from religious service, exhibitions, and family events to sporting activities. Every activity will incorporate the participation and contribution of every member of the SDF, according to him.
Yesterday’s ceremony began with a prayer by SDF Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Louis Agathine. It concluded with Lieutenant Colonel Allain Pierre presenting the year's achievements. A highlight video showcased the significant accomplishments across all SDF units, notably the substantial improvement in retention rates, indicating an increase in personnel choosing to remain in the force. In addition, the first ever women pilot was also recruited.
Photos by Joena Meme