Prospective recruits into the Uganda People’s Defence Air Force – UPDAF have today been subjected to an aptitude test before arriving at the required 100 candidates for recruitment.
These first underwent all the initial screening procedures that the thousands of youth that turned up for the Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF recruitment exercise at Kololo Grounds in Kampala underwent yesterday.
Capt. Arthur King Timbaganya, the UPDAF Spokesperson said the Air Force received a total of 400 prospective recruits and these dropped to 200 after others failed the initial tests including fitness tests, general medical and physical tests in which body marks like big scars and tattoos were checked.
The prospective professional recruits in to the Air Force were also required to have a qualification of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education – UACE obtained over the last three years with a bias in science subjects.
Being a Ugandan citizen and the presentation of a medical examination report, original national identity cards, local council recommendation letter, original copies of their academic papers, three passport size photos among others were also requirements to be met by the prospective recruits.
“We screened them out through physical exercise and looking at their papers, some were over qualified, they were graduates in fields like Engineering and surely over age, we want s.6 leavers who have passed well in sciences,” Capt Timbaganya said.
Capt. Timbaganya says that with 200 candidates passing through after meeting all these requirements yesterday, 180 of the prospective recruits turned up again today to complete the recruitment process. They sat for aptitude tests before undergoing several laboratory tests including HIV screening, eye sight, Hepatitis B, and Diabetes among others.
He could not account for the 20 prospective recruits who failed to turn up today despite going through yesterday’s fitness tests.
Capt. Timbaganya noted that out of the now 180 prospective recruits that have been subjected to an aptitude test, the Air Force will need a total of 100 recruits with a bias in science subjects at UACE level, citing Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry.
He said that after successfully going through the last laboratory tests, they are to be recruited for a pilot course and aero engineering.
“They will first go through a general exercise for one year which will make them soldiers, then we shall take them for piloting courses,”
Those who will not qualify during the pilot and aero engineering training are to be converted into other areas like flight operations, fire unit and others.
The aptitude test pass mark is 50 percent according to Capt. Timbaganya.
The UPDF nationwide recruitment exercise looks at recruiting 4,000 soldiers of whom 3,000 will be regular and 1,000 will be professionals to serve the different professional units in the army. The exercise will end on October 29, 2017, in 116 districts. Kampala district has only 600 slots in the recruitment exercise.
The recruitment exercise seeks to address the human resource deficit arising out of the retirement of a similar number of personnel who will be leaving the forces over the next two years. Up to 1700 of these will be retiring in November this year.