The Ghana Navy (GN) is the naval warfare organizational military branch of the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF). The Ghanaian navy, along with the Ghanaian army (GA) and Ghanaian air force (GHF), make up the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF) which is controlled by the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence (MoD). The nucleus of the Ghana Navy is the Gold Coast Naval Volunteer Force formed during World War II. It was established by the colonial British administration to conduct seaward patrols to ensure that the coastal waters of the colony were free from mines.
Following Ghana’s attainment of independent nationhood on 6 March 1957 from the UK, the country’s military was reorganized and expanded to meet its new challenges. A new volunteer force was raised in June, 1959 with headquarters at Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana. The men were drawn from the existing Gold Coast Regiment of Infantry. They were under the command of British Royal Navy officers on secondment. On 29 July 1959, the Ghana Navy was established by an Act of Parliament. The force had two divisions based at Takoradi and Accra respectively.
On 1 May 1962, the British Navy formed the Royal Navy Element of the British Joint Services Training Team, thus changing the nature of its relationship with the Ghana Navy. The first Chief of the Naval Staff was Captain D. A. Foreman, a retired British Naval Officer. He was granted a Presidential Commission as a Ghana naval officer in the rank of Commodore. In September 1961 Nkrumah terminated the employment of British officers in the armed forces: the first Ghanaian to become Chief of the Naval Staff was Rear Admiral David Anumle Hansen, who was transferred from the Ghana army to head the navy.
The Ghana Navy fulfils a broad range of roles. These include:
- The monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities
- Maritime Presence in the West African Waters and Naval Support in the Region and Crises Areas when requested
- Surveillance, Effective Patrol and Control of Ghana’s Territorial Waters and Economic Zone
- Evacuation operations of Ghanaian and other nationals from troubled spots
- Fighting and checking criminal activities such as piracy/armed robbery at sea, smuggling of illicit drugs, stowaways and dissident activities
- Disaster and humanitarian relief operations, search and rescue, and other mercy missions at sea
- Assisting civil authorities such as the Ghana Police, the Volta River Authority, the Electoral Commission, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority
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