President Yoweri Museveni has passed out 171 counter Terrorism warriors under the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence who have been undergoing training in combating terrorism, violent extremism, cyber threats, politically motivated violence and threats that transcend borders.
The trainees went through fast-paced, nail biting military drills by the at the School of Military Intelligence and Security in Nakasongola for months of rigorous.
While speaking at the passing out event on Friday, President Museveni also Commander in Chief described the mental and physical training, as ‘Being sure of Yourself’ in combat.
The officers dry-practiced 8 action-packed drills during which they would respond instinctively and without delay to enemy fire while running, crawling, jumping and shooting at targets set at 25 metres, 50 metres and 100 metres and neutralizing them in seconds. They also included use of choppers in VIP protection and terrorism and enemy capture in hostage situations.
“It’s a good beginning for you, don’t lose this chance. One element about fighting is to be sure of yourself. When you are confident of yourself, you can handle any combat situation. I congratulate you upon completing this very difficult course,” he said.
The officers have been trained in buildup areas in the air, under very strenuous circumstances using both small arms and heavy weapons at short and long distances.
The President however warned against ‘cowboyism’ and directed the trainers to integrate technics in an ideological context.
He noted that in this kind of combat training, one needs three things; “How to effectively use your weapon; How to use cover to protect yourself in buildings and trenches and using instinct and speed with the emphasis on marksmanship and ability to take cover. These technics are specific to close combat. Don’t look at yours as cowboys. We don’t want cowboyism here. Technics must be in service of the historic mission of the people of Uganda. It is very good that you are confident of your weapons and when you fire, you hit the target using cover, speed and instinct in the right context,” he said.
President Museveni who had prior broken ground for the construction of the Military Intelligence and Security that is estimated to cost Shs 40bn, commended Major Gen. Abel Kandiho the in-charge Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) for ensuring that the training is done by local trainers from the UPDF which has built that capacity and pledged to build the military school to a full professional institution.
Gen. Kandiho said this is the first intake to be trained exclusively by UPDFs own professionals.
“This course is a carefully but deliberate effort to build the army to focus on the terrorism that is facing the world today. It comes at a critical time when the country is facing multifaceted threats of terrorism. We must prepare to effectively deal with this,” he said.
He further urged government to quickly build a permanent school of military intelligence and security at Somi at Mijeera in Nakasongola where they have over 2.5 Sq miles of land.
“We already support training for other governed agencies like UWA and URA. We are also going to focus on military intelligence and cyber security,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Wilson Mbadi said the completion of the training by the elite force is part of building a professional army that is modern, effective and efficient to contribute to regional peace. He said the last foreign training cost the institution US$2.5million about Shs 9bn but this one conducted by the UPDF has cost them Shs 920million.
“We urge government to support the UPDF to put the necessary infrastructure for the force since they have capacity for the human resource,” the CDF said.
He urged the graduates to remain patriotic and dedicated to their profession, saying this brings honesty and trust among the population.
171 officers graduated today with five women. The best overall student was Pt. Twongyeire Kenneth, the Most Professional was Pt.Imalingat Gabriel while the most disciplined was Pt. Bwambale Leon and best female student was Pt. Namuhoma Madiina.