Decision was taken to estb a Cantonment in Panagoda, just after the first independence anniversary in 1949 by First Sec Def and External Affairs Minister Sir Kanthiah Vaithianatham KBE CCS.
350 acres of Panagoda Land purchased for the Cantonment in 1950.
The Cantonment construction began on 10 October 1952 by the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Mr Dudley Senanayake.
The Cantonment completed in 1959.
The Honorable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr W Dahanayake was declared open the Cantonment main building, on 22 December 1959.
This Cantonment functioned as a Bde, Western Comd, Support Force Comd and was re-named in 1988 as the HQ 1 Division.
Again it was re-designated as the HQ 11 Division on 15 July 1997.
Security Forces Headquarters (South) was formed in Panagoda Cantonment on 23 September 2009.
Subsequently on 15th November 2012 the Security Forces Headquarters (South) was suppressed and renamed as Security Forces Headquarters (West).