HISTORY OF CENTRAL COMMAND

Central Command, as we see today, has a long history dating from the 1940s. The Command was first formed as 2 West African Infantry Brigade in the then Gold Coast, now Ghana, as part of the 82nd West African Division in 1940, for operations in the Second World War. The first commander was a British officer named Brigadier Richards.  Its major units were 1, 2 and 3 Gold Coast Regiments; (now 1, 2 and 3 Battalions of Infantry in the Ghana Army).   The Brigade, as part of the 82nd West African Division, sailed to East Africa in June 1940, and for 14 months saw action in Abyssinia and Uaddara.

The Brigade returned to the Gold Coast in 1941 only for a brief spell of time. In October 1942, it embarked on yet another external operation to the Gambia to counter the threats of the French forces on the borders of that territory.  The Brigade returned to the Gold Coast in 1943 after the operations in the Gambia.

In April 1944, during the peak of the Second World War, the Brigade was moved to Southeast Asia where it took part in the famous Burma campaigns.   It is very important to note that this Brigade contributed tremendously to turn defeat into victory for the allied forces in Southeast Asia. The Brigade remained operational until the end of hostilities in 1945, and was disbanded in 1946.

On 22 July 1960, the nucleus of 2 Infantry Brigade Group Headquarters was formed out of the units that had been deployed to ONUC (UN Operations in the Congo ( now Democratic Republic of the Congo) as the Ghana Congo Brigade. T/Brigadier JE Michel, until then CO 2 Infantry Battalion, was appointed Acting Commander of the Ghana Congo Brigade. In the Congo, the Brigade operated in the Leopodville and Kasai provinces. In late April 1961, the Brigade HQ was re-designated HQ 2 Ghana Infantry Brigade Group, Luluabourg. In June the same year, this formation was re-designated HQ 1 Infantry Brigade Group and another HQ 2 Infantry Brigade Group was provisionally formed in Accra, probably under Brig Tadman, CBE, DSO, King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

On 1 October 1962, the new 2 Infantry Brigade Group was formally established in Kumasi and fully incorporated into the Ghana Army under the command of Brigadier NA Aferi, the first Ghanaian brigade commander. The HQ was located at the offices of the present Ashanti Regional Development Corporation in Kumasi.  Its initial major units were 3 Inf Bn located at Kaladan Barracks, Tamale; 5 Inf Bn at Kamina Barracks, Tamale; Parachute Battalion at Airport Ridge, Tamale and the Armed Forces Recruit Training Centre at Uaddara Barracks, Kumasi.

The HQ moved to its present location at Idris Barracks, which was originally the European Hospital in Kumasi before it became the Kwadaso Camp. The camp is named after late WO1 Idris of 48 Engr Regt who was shot dead in 1983 during an abortive attempt to overthrow the Revolution of 31 December 1981.

The Brigade’s logo was adapted from the 82 West African Division. This consists of two crossed spears passing through an African head-pad with the inscription “Through Our Carriers We Fight”, all against a yellow background. The motto and the logo as a matter of fact recognise the vital role played by the auxiliary groups of the Brigade in Burma. Personnel of the auxiliary group carried very heavy loads on their heads in the traditional African style, enabling the Brigade Group to move through very dense jungle and mountainous country, a task which most non-African brigade groups could hardly accomplish.

In March 2000 the formation was re-designated Northern Command and the first General Officer Commanding the Command (GOC) was Maj Gen HK Anyidoho. The current GOC is Brig Gen JN Adinkrah, who took command in June 2005.

The Command currently consists of two major units – 3 Inf Bn at Liberation Barracks, Sunyani; 4 Inf Bn in Complex and Uaddara Barracks in Kumasi; There is also 2 Armoured Recce Squadron stationed in Sunyani. The support arms and services are 2 Sig Sqn, 2 MT Coy, 2 Fd Wksp, 2 Fd Amb and 2 FOC. These are all located in Kumasi.

As part of the Ghana Army, Central Command has contributed personnel for internal and external operations. Internally, it has been involved in all military exercises, operations and nation-building tasks. Under Op GONGONG, the Command has helped restore law and order to the Dagbon conflict zone. Working with the Civil Police, the Command continues to provide security to the populace.

Externally, personnel from the Command have participated in ECOMOG missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and UN missions in the Sinai, Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Western Sahara, South Lebanon, Cambodia and Rwanda. The 3 Inf Bn from the Command was one of two battalions from Ghana that fought to break the siege laid by the forces of Charles Taylor on Monrovia in 1990. It was the same battalion that provided sanctuary to Kigali during the carnage in Rwanda in 1994. During Op OCTOPUS in Liberia in 1992, the 4 Inf Bn was in action to halt the rebels from making incursions into Monrovia from the Buchanan-Robertsfield International Airport (RIA) axis. The 6 Inf Bn ventured into unknown territory as the first Ghanaian unit to Sinai in 1974 and also to Cambodia in 1992.

The Command has personnel who are currently engaged in UN operations with MONUC in Congo DR, UNIFIL in Lebanon, MINURSO in Western Sahara, UNMEE in Ethiopia and Eritrea and the African Union mission in Darfur, Western Sudan