British soldiers have been learning jungle fighting tactics during their first visit to Ghana in seven years.
British soldiers have been learning jungle fighting tactics during their first visit to Ghana in seven years. It is part of an exchange programme with Ghanian troops, a company of 120 Irish guards was given intensive instruction at a jungle warfare school before entering the jungle on exercise against Ghanian soldiers. The visit had been planned during six months, but it was made soon after the former Ghana Army Commander General Akuffo assuming power in a bloodless coup.
SYNOPSIS: The Guardsmen needed time to acclimatise to the tropical heat an humidity. The Achiase Jungle Warfare School where they trained was recently opened by General Akuffo before he became Head of State last month (July 1978). The officer commanding the school briefed the troops before their first jungle patrol. The tropical environment was at first unfamiliar to the British troops, who risked heat of exhaustion, malaria and snake bite.
Bush hats and jungle kit were also unfamiliar to the troops, who are ore usually associated with red tunics and bearskins for their duties at windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. But they soon came to terms with scorpions, hornets and four varieties of snake including the black cobra. Relatively convenient access to Jungle areas is valued by the British Army, which made the most of this opportunity to drill special skills.
These include jungle navigation, tracking, patrolling, and being able to appreciate a parrot for its nutritional value.
hard lesson were learned in the jungle, but eh going was easier in the village, where the good-will aspects of the visit were developed. The Irish Guards were particularly popular with young children, who are tempted by large quantities of toffees carried by the soldiers. Both the British and Ghana Army authorities declared the exercise a success, and further exchanges are considered possible.