President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief of Uganda’s Armed Forces has passed out 110 UPDF Commandos who completed 16 months of specialized training.
The 4th intake of Special Forces Command Tier 1 also known as Special Forces Qualifications Course were passed out during a ceremony yesterday at Butiaba Marines Training School in Bulisa district.
President Museveni after being taken through demonstrations, expressed satisfaction with the quality of training and skills acquired by the Special Forces.
“I congratulate the young fighters for finishing this very tough course. The Army is tough, but this is tougher. The army has big capacity but Special Forces create professional capacity in operating in small units and doing things that cannot be done in a regular way. Special Forces are an important force in building special capacity,” he said.
The President noted that it is because of such Special Operations that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) was completely defeated in 2007 as well as the Al shabaab militants in Mogadishu. The snipers did a fantastic job when they went to Mogadishu, they helped the defeat of Al Shabaab from the Somali city.
The Commander In Chief pledged his continued support in as far as building capacity and professionalizing the forces is concerned .
The Special Forces Qualification course is designed to achieve special operations capabilities for envisioned combat operational requirements to conduct special operations.
President Museveni presented awards to the best students including Pte Okwi Bonny Alex, Lt. Robert Ssematuwa and Pte Herera Gideon for their outstanding performance in different disciplines.
Speaking at the pass out ceremony, the Minister of State for Defence in charge of General Duties, Hon. Charles Okello Engola commended the commandos for completing the course and asked them to carry the mantle with pride. “As we celebrate your achievement, we should be reminded of our military history and those who sacrificed for this country. They represent the past and you now represent the future. Carry on this noble responsibility with pride while conscious of the UPDF requirement of loyalty, patriotism, discipline, team work and pro-people ideology,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi said the demonstration exercise was a testimony that the trainees had got necessary skills to perform duties of special operations under any conditions. He thanked the Commander In Chief for his continued support in his effort to professionalize the forces.
The Commander Special Forces Command (SFC), Maj. Gen. James Birungi said that the Special Forces Command has steadily grown in both quality and quantity. He saluted the President for his support and strategic guidance in building the capacity of the SFC.
“SFC is steadily growing in quality and quantity by leaps and bounds. We thank the Commander-In-Chief for his strategic guidance, efforts and contribution.
Those in attendance included Commander Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Commander Air force, Lt Gen Charles Lutaaya, Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Leopold Kyanda, senior officers of UPDF, political and other local leaders from Bulisa district.