HISTORY OF JUNGLE WARFARE SCHOOL

The idea of establishing a Jungle Warfare School to train personnel of the regular forces of Ghana came up in the early seventies, when a few Officer and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO’s) were sent out to be trained in the British Jungle Warfare School in Malaysia. The Ministry of Defence accepted the establishment of the School in 1974. The school was first located at Obenemase, an old gold mining town near Kumasi.   At that time the school was under the administrative control of the Second Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Kumasi.

In 1975 the school had to be moved from Obenemase to the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie because the Government had decided to re-activate the Konongo Gold Mines of which Obenemase formed part. This integration of the school with the Military academy proved to be a difficult marriage and therefore in 1976 the school was one again moved to Achiase and paced under the direct control of Army HQ. The school was officially opened in November 1976.   It is now under the Military Academy and Training School (MATS).   Although very small in size is probably the only one of its kind, at least in West Africa.

The aim of establishing a Jungle Warfare Scholl in Ghana is to train officers and men of the Ghana Army in Counter Insurgency Warfare in a jungle environment. Some example of Counter Insurgency Warfare are the Panama Wars of the 1920-30s where US Marines engage guerrillas in Latin America, Indo – China War of 1945-54, the Mai Mai War of Independence in Kenya in 1950, the Malaya Emergency of 1948-60, the confrontation with Indonesia from 1963-66 and Vietnam war from 1954-60.

In addition to trained officers and men to live and fight in the Jungle, the school also performed the following tasks;

  1. Assist Units and Formations in their jungle warfare training and exercises.
  2. Run cadres for formations on jungle warfare and counter insurgency.
  3. Try new equipment to ascertain their suitability for jungle operations.
  4. Develop techniques of doctrine for operating in the jungle.
  5. Under-take any other training as may be assigned by the Armed Forces.

The school is organized into a headquarters and four departments called Wings. The headquarters is responsible for the command and control of the school; the Jungle Wing is responsible for all aspects of training in the school except instructions on Explosives, Booby Traps and Watermanship which are handle by the Trial and Development Wing; the Trial and Development Wing is responsible for the trial of ideas and equipment and making recommendations for their adoption in the Army; the Administration Wing also handle the administrative requirements of the school.

State of infrastructure on establishment. This was located in as old saw mil owned by a Lebanese expatriate.  There were then three structures, which were being used as accommodation for the staff, Students as well as some instructors were living in tents.  Lectures were taken in the natural environment.  It was during the command of Lt Gen Akafia that wooden structures were put up to accommodate Officers, SNCOs, Students and a Mess for Junior Ranks.