President Julius Maada Bio has paid a working visit to the Horton Military Academy, managed by the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), where he assured of his commitment to developing the capacity of servicemen.
As the oversight body to the military academy, ISSAT strives to contribute to improving security and justice as a means to help prevent violent conflict, build sustainable peace and establish a conducive environment for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President Bio said he was excited about the work of the military academy in Sierra Leone, saying that the institution had done remarkably well in training professional military men and women in the country. He mentioned that his government was committed to improving the capacity of servicemen, which would enable them to fit for purpose even after their tenure in the service.
“We are delighted with the work of ISSAT and the Academy. We need such an institution to develop the intellectual capacity of our officers whom we need to prepare in a way that they are able to easily move into the civilian culture by offering them quality training which will be helpful even outside the military. My government will work with ISSAT to expand the capacity of Horton to reflect a proper institution of training for our personnel,” he said.
Chief Instructor at the Academy, Captain Philip Joseph Schenks, said the Academy was working in line with the President’s vision for human capital development by embarking on capacity development for servicemen. He added that the institution did not only offer military training but also gave theoretical training in other fields, especially in management.
Captain Schenks further disclosed that the Academy, which is the think-tank for professional military training in the country, was working with the University of Sierra Leone to review its programmes to conform to other institutions around the world. He maintained that when given the required training, military personnel would develop professional mindsets that would enable them to be conscious of their duties and responsibilities.
Chief Superintendent Helen Williams, attached to the ISSAT Police Wing, said they were working in partnership with the Sierra Leone Police to improve transparency and professionalism and to enhance community confidence. She also lauded President Bio’s commitment to ending rape and domestic violence in households across the country.
Established in 2003, the Horton Academy is the highest military training institution in Sierra Leone. The institution is now recognised in Africa and the sub-region as a training school for military personnel. Affiliated with the United Kingdom Defense Academy, the Horton Academy is funded by the United Kingdom.