By Brigadier Richard Karemire
Senior commanders and directors under Land Forces of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) have completed a two day basic and combat fitness tests conducted at Land Forces headquarters in Bombo, Luwero district.
The exercise was supervised by fitness experts from UPDF’s Chieftaincy of Medical Services and Directorate of Sports.
The participants included the Commander Land Forces (CLF), Lt Gen Peter Elwelu with all directors under Land Forces, Division Commanders, Brigade Commanders, Battalion Commanders and other officers who came from units and other services.
The participants went through a 5 Km run, push-ups and sit-ups as part of the basic fitness test.
The combat fitness test entailed a 30 Km walk while carrying and wearing all the basics of a field soldier.
“We have launched an exercise code named Commander Imara to test ourselves on basic and combat fitness. This is a way of ensuring we are combat ready at all times,” Lt Gen Elwelu said.
He added that the work the UPDF does is very physical and demands that they are medically and physically fit at all times if they are to adequately fulfill their constitutional mandate.
The CLF said this program will be conducted annually and it will trickle down to all units under Land Forces.
The next exercise will be in April 2020 but the commanders will also implement the same in their units.
The exercise was very successful and all participants passed the set standards which is in line with international standards.
Lt Gen Elwelu, added “UPDF is generally a fit army. We have been engaged in several operations that left us fit. Despite this, we have to test ourselves. We have to look at ourselves against the mirror.”
The head of the organizing committee for the exercise was Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, the Chief of Staff of Land Forces. He noted that the army plays a very vital role of providing security in the country and must measure to the task at all times. “The first thing any country needs in order to progress is security. Therefore, our role is prime. We must ensure we are able to measure to this important task by being fit,” said Maj General Kyanda.
Major Doctor Ddungu of the UPDF Medical Services was the exercise doctor. He said: “We conduct routine medical checks for our commanders. Today, our commanders have done a confirmatory test that shows that they are as fit as reflected in their medical files.”
Among the key field commanders who participated in the exercise were Maj Gen Sam Okiding, Maj Gen Sam Kawagga, Brig Stephen Mugerwa, Brig JM Ssemwanga, Brig Joseph Balikuddembe, Brig Michael Nyarwa, Brig CR Byanyima, Brig Bonny Bamwiseki, Brig William Bainomugisha, Brig Daniel Kakono and Brig David Isimbwa. In general, 150 Commanders turned up for the exercise.
Brigadier Richard Karemire is the spokesperson for the Uganda People’s Defence Forces