BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JUNGLE WARFARE SCHOOL (JWS)
The idea of establishing the Jungle Warfare School (JWS) to train personnel of the Regular Forces of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) came up in the early 1970s, after a few Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) had returned to Ghana having completed their training in the British Jungle Warfare School in MALASIA in the 70s.
The ministry of Defence accepted the proposal for the establishment of the school in 1974. The school was first located at OBENEMASE near Konongo in the Ashanti Region at the premises of an abandoned Gold Mine. During that period, the school was placed under the administrative control of the then 2 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Kumasi.
In 1975, the school was moved from Obenemase to the Ghana Military Academy at TESHIE because the then Government had decided to re-activate the KONONGO Gold Mines of which the Obenemase Training Camp formed part.
The integration of the school with the Military Academy proved to be a difficult marriage with respect to vegetation. Therefore, in 1976 the school was once again moved from Teshie to ACHIASE and placed under the direct control of the Army HQ.
The Symbol of the School is the TIGER. The Tiger because it represents power due to the apparent use of their acute senses, sharp eye sight, determination and persistence to dominate the Jungle. These among others are the characteristics expected of all Junglers in order to effectively perfect missions. The Commanding Officer of the School is till date referred to as the ‘TIGER ONE’: which means the Chief Jungler.
RELOCATION AND OFFICIAL NAMING
Lobbied by the then Achiasehene Nana Otchere Darko II, the school was finally located at the northern outskirts of Achiase because the level of crime at that time in the area was so high that economic activity was virtually to a standstill.
The school was officially named after Maj Seth Kobla Anthony (rtd) on the 14 June 1991. He was the first African to receive the King’s Commission as an Officer on the 2nd of April 1942, the school was publicly opened on the 2 November 1976 at Akim Achiase in the Eastern Region by the then Army Commander, Gen FWK Akuffo. The school used to be under the operational and administrative command of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) until 12 December 2014, when it was ceded to the Army Training Command (ATRAC).
MISSION & ROLES
To train Officers and Men of the GAF in Internal Security, Counter Insurgency (IS/COIN) in Jungle Warfare. The school performs the following roles:
- Assists Units and Formations in their Jungle Warfare training and exercises.
- Organize GAF exercises in IS/COIN and Search and Rescue operation in the Jungle setting.
- Try new equipment to be procured by the GAF to ascertain their suitability for jungle operations and the Ghanaian environment in general, including other African countries.
- Develop techniques and doctrine for jungle operations.
- Responsible for IS role in the Birim South District and Birim Central Municipality.
- During election periods, extends IS responsibility to cover Akyemansa, Denkyembour, West Akim, Suhum and Kwaebibirim districts.
- Running courses in jungle operations for students from other countries on request among others.
The school is organized from the top with the JWS HQ that includes the Public Relations Detachment, Medical, Engineer and Electrical Mechanical and Engineer Detach, under which sprouts four training Wings. The Jungle Wing which encompasses Demonstration Company and the Intelligent & Operations Cell, Trial and Development Wing, Peacekeeping Wing and the Administration Wing.
The JWS over the years has trained both officers and men in the following:
- Junior Officers Cadets Course
- Senior Officers Cadets Course
- Basic NCOs Tactical Course
- Advanced NCOs Tactical Course
- Young Officers Course
- Combat Team Commanders Course and
- All other courses on request, including some Cooperate Social Responsibilities.
As per GAF annual training calendar, JWS adds the jungle phase of combat to the Conventional Training done at MATS. Here students from the Army Combat Training School (ACTS) at Teshie, Officer Cadets from the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) and Recruits from the Army Recruit Training School (ARTS) at Shai Hills are exposed to real combat simulations in a jungle setting before graduating. This exposure runs from a week to a maximum duration of five weeks in the jungle.
On the international facade, the Ghana Army Jungle Warfare School over the period has received troops form different nations for exchange programs of jungle operations and tactics. Amongst them are the Netherlands, United States of America, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Benin, and Nigeria.
TRAINING FOR JUNGLE COMBAT
JWS is the only military training school on the continent of Africa that trains troops from the regular armed forces in jungle combat. It is one amongst six others in the world. The School empowers students to employ the use of natural jungle materials to impede enemy soldiers by constructing booby traps and launching furtive attacks to prevail in jungle combat.
In an interview with the Commanding Officer (CO), JWS, Lt Col Cephas Tettey Broni cautioned trainees as well as prospective students of the school to develop a mental fortitude and build their bodies to adopt and be immune to discomfort in the jungle environment as such was needful for a successful mission in the jungle. He added that before course assembles, students are encouraged to develop the mental stamina of perseverance since fighting the guerilla in the jungle is the most difficult of all combats. The training presents a scenario where participants are required to create their own path in the unfriendly thick primary and secondary jungle vegetation, with wild and dangerous animals including reptiles, ants, and the swampy nature of the terrain resulting in constant wet gears.
(Students orientating themselves on the ground using the map after surmounting the river obstacle)
After completing the program, participants earn the ‘Jungle Expert & Instructors Badge’ and or the ‘Jungle Operations Special Training Certificate’ which certifies that the holder can defend a disturbed peaceful terrain in combat warfare.
Fighting in the jungle is a different phase of war and as most conventional military units would do, students are familiarized to first defeat the terrain as an enemy before the assault on the enemy who is using the jungle as a base to conduct their further operations.
JWS, having played hosts in exchange programs to many national armies globally, is the only army training school in the world that has the exclusive authorization to train the first world army. This is witnessed, for example, in Exercise United Accord where the United States Marines are trained in Jungle Crafts on the aim of equipping an operational unit capable of utilizing any thick jungle to their benefits.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Robert P Jackson explained that this is coordinated annual special jungle training for the United States Marines since 2017
The motivating factor for the establishment of the JWS was that, GHANA is rich and abounds with thick evergreen tropical forests in her southern portion except the coastline, so the idea was paramount for the Regular Forces to know how to effectively operate in this environment in both Limited War and Counter Insurgency (COIN) situations.
Although small in seize the JWS has furnished and trained the regular Forces in the aspects of Jungle Warfare Setting and has gained both local and international prominence over the years by playing hosts to number of joint military exercises with troops from the United Kingdom, United States of America, the Netherlands and also run courses for both officers and men from other West African countries including SIERRALEONE, LIBERIA, BURKINAFASO, BENIN among others.
Some examples of COIN Warfare were the BANANA Wars of the 1920s-30s where US Marines engaged guerrillas in Latin America, Indo – China War of 1945-54, the Mau Mau war of Independence in Kenya in 1950, the Malaya Emergency of 1948-60, the confrontation with Indonesia from 1963-66 and the Vietnam war from 1954-60.
The School has two external peacekeeping operation records to its credit. MONUC GH-16 under the then Commanding Officer (CO), Lt Col NP Andoh (Jul 09 to Jan 10) and UNMISS GH-3 under the CO, Lt Col CK Ayiku (Feb 15 to Feb 16).
The School celebrated its maiden 40 years of existence in Achiase from 11 to 13 November 2016 under the Command of Lt Col Broni.
During the Command of Lt Col Joe Kumi, the first Commanding Officer Jungle Warfare School – Achiase in 1976 and now under Lt Col Cephas Tettey Broni with the Tiger as its emblem, the jungle fraternity roars:
- Combatants – Everywhere
- Everywhere – Combatants
- Ready to Kill – Ready to Die
- Ready to Die – Ready to Kill
- What makes the Grass Grow – Blood! Blood!! Blood!!!
- What makes the Acheampong Grow – Sweat! Sweat!! Sweat!!!
- Combatants Show them your War faces – Hiaaaaaaaaa
Jungler, Jungler, Jungler
Live, Fight or Die Hard