The French army, which has been training Ugandan armed forces in specialized combat operations, is set to enhance UPDF’s capabilities in running a modern and lethal airforce.
This was revealed Monday by the Commander of French Airforce based in Djibouti, Maj Gen Eric Gernez
General Gernez, who commended UPDF for an excellent role played in keeping peace on the African Continent, pledged “support from the French Airforce in Djibouti to Uganda People’s Defence Air Force (UPPDAF) in terms of further training and other military to military engagements.”
President Museveni has in recent years bankrolled the revamping of the airforce by training pilots and buying latest warplanes from Russia.
Unlike in the past when Uganda would deploy thousands of troops in the battlefield, the UPDF uses more of long-range artillery weapons and the airforce to confront enemies.
The capacity of the Ugandan airforce was recently exhibited during UPDF’s attacks of rebel ADF’s territory in Eastern Congo.
The army said hundreds of ADF combatants were killed in the attacks.
Ugandan warplanes also played a key role in defeating South Sudan dissident Vice President Riek Machar’s ‘white army’ as it advanced towards Juba after the outbreak of the war in 2013.
ChimpReports also understands that Ugandan air force personnel were dispatched to Rwenzori areas to use drones and other sophisticated technology to locate Rwenzururu militants before being killed.
General Gernez, who paid a courtesy call to UPDF Leadership at the Ministry of Defence headquarters at Mbuya hill, applauded the forces for the “good work executed by UPDF in all their deployments in the region” towards the realization of peace in Africa.
The French two star General also pointed out that the mutual relationship between Uganda and France is a beneficial one and that France will continue to support Uganda because of the large contributions in stabilizing the region.
Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, who represented the CDF Gen David Muhoozi, appreciated the French support given to UPDF in various capacity building areas mostly at the Peace Support Training Centre in Singo, Mountain warfare Training School, mountain training in the Rwenzori, Military exercises and French Language training in Jinja; which have immensely boosted the UPDF.
“The support has gone a long way in opening UPDF’s doors to the French speaking Missions which was not the case before as language was our main barrier,” noted Gen Musanyufu.
The Joint Chief of Staff also added that African Armies should work as a team not in isolation.
In attendance was Maj Gen Gavas Mugyenyi, the Deputy Commander Airforce and Maj Gen Willis Byarugaba, the UPDF Chief of Training among others.