Germany Helps NDF in a Step Forward

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Given the quintessence that good logistics increase security and peace, on Monday the German Ambassador to Namibia Wolfgang Massing handed over an Integrated Logistics System to the Namibian Defence Force. It was stressed that logistics is the backbone of any production process. According to the Minister of Defence, Charles Namoloh, without logistical support, home-based operations would come to a standstill and soldiers are most likely to suffer during peacekeeping missions if their logistics battalions do not support them. Namibia is in a world of hi-tech. This means the Ministry of Defence has to equally keep up with the pace and acquire an Integrated Logistics System that would help the ministry in the organising and management of resources. “With the system in place, information will be communicated better and the time to take decisions and the ordering of resources will be shortened,” he said. He noted that the system valued at N$6.8 million would not only promote efficiency and effectiveness in resource management but also improve security. Considering that the main task of this system is to ensure centralised control of all resources including weapons, Namoloh said this is one way Namibia, with the help of the German Government, is responding to a call made in 2001 by the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons Conference held in New York. At this platform, it was agreed that the police or any other authorised body that uses small arms establishes adequate and detailed standards and procedures relating to the management and security of their stock of these weapons. “It goes without saying that one of the best control measures of any inventory is to create a database. “The Integrated Logistics System will fulfil some of these tasks,” stated the minister. German Ambassador to Namibia Massing during the handover ceremony revealed that since 1993, his government has granted equipment aid to the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) with a value of approximately N$90 million. In July 2005, the pro-gramme was extended to 2008 and additional equipment aid to the volume of N$28 million was agreed upon. In 2003, a project management team was created and last year an upgraded computer training centre at Osona Base was inaugurated. Through this initiative, about 60 workstations and one data centre have been installed for the NDF. “The new system is an important step forward in the modernizing of the NDF. “Without adequate and efficient logistical support, no operation, whether in peacetime or in times of war, can be successful,” noted Massing. The two partners have initiated yet another pilot project with the main aim to facilitate support functionality, optimise the material management in depots and the spare parts logistics within the framework of plant maintenance and fleet management, Namoloh stated. “The new logistics system will increase the visibility of the operational status of the available equipment, spares and supplies. “Such enhanced information flow and availability is the first step to enhanced efficiency and effectiveness,” he concluded.