Rhodesia - Intaf

Callsign - Lighthouse

Guard Force

Guard Force was raised in August / September 1975 when the first officers and NCOs were recruited from several units including Intaf.  By the 1st February 1976 the unit had been gazetted as a part of the Ministry of Defence.  Its commander was Brigadier W.A. Godwin DMM, OBE who had seen service with the British army in Malaya.

The intention of Guard Force was to take over the role of protection and manning of Protected Villages from Intaf so as to allow Intaf to resume more of its administrative duties.  Out of necessity Intaf personnel remained in the Protected Villages so that they could continue with their responsibilities.

In general, the decision to form Guard Force was not a popular one amongst members of Intaf at ground level.  Many Intaf members felt that it was a waste of precious resources to form a unit to take over the protection of the Protected Villages when they were already being manned by Intaf personnel.  It implied that there needed to be two units almost for the same purpose and when Guard Force personnel also moved in to Chikurubi Barracks to establish their Training Depot there was intense rivalry for office space, training areas and equipment. 

Group Headquarters were established near each of the DCs offices so that Guard Force command and control structures could function in conjunction with Intaf and the BSAP.  A recruiting campaing was launched and new recruits were trained at Chikurubi.  Thereafter they were deployed to the Protected Villages serving alongside Intaf personnel.

 Each Protected Village had its own Keep and the rank system of Guard Force tended to use titles such as Commandant, Assistant Commandant, Keep Commander, Keep Sergeant and Keep Corporal to distinguish themselves from the other security forces.

 Members of Guard Force soon settled down to their tasks and often made contact with the enemy.  Just as the Intaf personnel lived amongst the local population, so did the members of Guard Force.  As the war progressed Guard Force were given additional duties which included the protection of national assets such as the railway lines and farms.

 

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