By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, JWS, Achiase
The Defence Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul, has thrown a challenge to the Commands of other security services in Ghana and beyond, to join in the next biennial internal security and Counter Insurgency training competition at the Jungle Warfare School (JWS) at Achiase, in 2021.
Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the Closing Ceremony of the 14th Edition of EXERCISE TIGER’S PATH, which started from Tuesday, 23rd July and ended on Friday, 26th July, 2019, Mr Nitiwul stated that the effects of insecurity, cannot be confined to any one country as neighbouring countries are not spared effects, due to the consequences of globalization.
“In most counter insurgency scenarios, other national security services play the frontline role, underscoring the need to bring together the Police, Prison Service, Customs Division on Ghana Revenue Authority, Immigration, Fire Service, National Disaster Management and all, to a joint exercise of this nature in future”, the Defence Minister stated.
The 14th Edition of EXERCISE TIGER’S PATH, the treasured jungle warfare training regime – an internal security and Counter Insurgency measure – of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), climaxed with Southern Command, the defending champions, emerging as Overall Best Champions of the biennial event, to claim their seventh win, since inception of the competition.
The 2019 Edition of EX TIGER’S PATH, was aimed at testing a cross-section of GAF in jungle operations and Internal Security and Counter Insurgency Operations at the sub-unit level.
It was also designed to enable the six various Formations (Southern – S/COMD, Northern – N/COMD, Central – C/COMD -Commands, Support Services Brigade – SP SVCS BDE, Ghana Navy and Ghana Air Force) to practice administration of Units in the held and accompanying logistics requirements.
The scope of the Exercise covered, among others, such tactical drills as Battle Procedure, First Aid, Tactical Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), Improvised River Crossing drills, Platoon administration in the jungle, Offensive Operations in Jungle Setting, Helicopter Vectoring and Marshaling Drills, Marksmanship, Physical Fitness, Endurance, Confidence Building and Patrolling Techniques.
The rest are Jungle Survival, Combat Triage, Medical Evacuation, Navigation, Ambushes, Offensive Operations, Obstacle Crossing and Range Work.
The exercise had each of the 6 formations represented by a Platoon size of troops, with at least three officers (one female) and thirty soldiers (five females), each with a minimum backpack weighing not less than 18.3 kilograms in addition to their rifles, trekking distances of over 14 kilometers per day (Navigation Exercises – NAVEX) through thick forests and bushes, streams and the River Birim, pitch camps, late in the night in the wild.
On the final day, the teams raced to arrive wholly first at the Seth Anthony Barracks, Achiase, to encounter 8 obstacles they had to cross finally, before taking their rest from the physically hectic but emotionally fulfilling meet.
On the final day, per balloting mechanism, Air Force was first to take to the nine part Obstacle Crossing with 21 men and firing at the Shooting Range, followed by Navy, SP SVCS BDE, NCOMD, S/COMD and then C/COMD – whose Staff Sergeant Avoy Augustine, performed outstandingly, to save a team mate from falling off from the overhead ropes, into the pond.
At the end of the contest, Best team in First Aid went to Air Force, Offensive Operations – C/COMD, Navigation went to Navy, Best Individual Shot in Open Range – S/COMD, Obstacle Crossing – S/COMD, Vectoring and Marshalling – Air Force, Best Female Participant – OS Grant of Navy, 3rd Place – N/COMD and 2nd Place to C/COMD.
The Officer(s) Commanding (OC) the various teams were S/COMD – Captain (Capt) Collins Nkansah, N/COMD – Capt Evans Ampah, C/COMD – Capt Daniel Brown, SP SVCS BDE – Capt Evans Onimpadu Ampadu, Navy – Lieutenant (GN) Christopher NA Armah and Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Emmanuel Annang Adjettey.
Exercise Controller was Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) AY Owusu (also JWS Commanding Officer), Exercise Assistant Controller – Major Jacob Codjoe, Exercise Chief Instructor – Maj Bright Basuglo, together with thirty-seven other Jungle Experts Exercise Umpires, to award marks and determine the ultimate winner.
Dignitaries present at the ceremony included the Chief of the Defence – Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of the Army Staff – Major General William Azure Ayamdo, the Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, the Chief of Air Staff – Air Vice Marshal Frank Hanson, the Commandant, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, Board Chairman of Veterans Association of Ghana – Major General CB Yaache (rtd).