The Ghana Army is responsible for ground warfare in the Ghana Armed Forces. In 1959, the Gold Coast Regiment was withdrawn from the Royal West African Frontier Force, and formed the basis for the new Ghanaian army. Together with the Ghana Air Force and the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Army make up the Ghanaian Armed Forces, controlled by the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence and Central Defence Headquarters, both located in Greater Accra.
Military units are deployed in the capital, Accra, and in Ghana's border regions. The 5,000-member Ghanaian army, which has an eastern and a western command, is organized into two brigades, with six infantry battalions; one reconnaissance regiment, with two reconnaissance squadrons; one airborne force, with one paratroop company; one artillery regiment; and one field engineer regiment.
Military equipment consists predominantly of older weapons of British, Brazilian, Swiss, Swedish, Israeli, and Finnish origin. Servicing of all types of equipment has been extremely poor, largely because of inadequate maintenance capabilities. As a result, foreign military advisers or technicians perform all major maintenance tasks. Included in the Ghanaian inventory are FV-601 Saladin and EE-9 Cascavel reconnaissance vehicles; MOWAG Piranha armored personnel carriers; 81mm and 120mm mortars; 84mm recoilless launchers; and 14.5mm ZPU-4 and 23mm ZU-23-2 air defense guns.
The Army is organised as Army Headquarters, Northern and Southern Commands, Support Service Brigade and five Combat Support Units. The Northern command comprises of the Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale Garrisons and the Southern Command comprises Accra, Tema and Takoradi Garrisons. It is also commanded by a Brigadier General with its Headquarters in Accra. The Support Services Brigade Group is being commanded by a Brigadier General who provides the necessary supporting Logistics Services to the entire Army. A Central Command was in its formative stages in 2016 to take over garrisons that are centrally located within the country to enhance efficiency.
The ECOMOG operation was but one in a long list of international peacekeeping missions in which Ghana participated. As early as 1978, Ghana contributed soldiers to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon; nearly 800 were still on duty there in mid-1994. Other UN missions to which Ghana contributed include the Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (1991-94); Cambodia, where more than 1,000 Ghanaians served as security personnel during UN-supervised elections in 1992-93; Somalia (1994); and Rwanda, where nearly 850 Ghanaians troops were part of a 2,500-member peacekeeping force in 1994. Assignments with ECOMOG and other international peacekeeping operations were avidly sought after, in part because they presented opportunities for self-enrichment, such as black-market dealings, otherwise unavailable to the average soldier. So lucrative were UN assignments that there were reports of bribery for selecting such forces.
By the late 1980s, morale throughout the armed forces was generally good because service conditions and the public perception of the military had improved. Also, the PNDC had improved the professionalism of the army. After Ghana contributed troops to the ECOMOG peacekeeping force in Liberia in mid-1990, however, morale declined once more, especially among enlisted personnel, who opposed what they perceived to be an openended commitment to a war irrelevant to Ghana. Controversy arose when some individual Ghanaian soldiers exploited their position as peacekeepers to enrich themselves by engaging in black-market activities and other questionable behavior.
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