President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief (of UPDF has said that the country’s air force has played a big role in the fight against the ADF rebels.
Museveni made the remarks at the Air Command and Leadership Training Institute in Nakasongola District where he presented a lecture of opportunity to 62 air force officers who have completed a Squadron Officers course that lasted 28 weeks.
The president also commissioned the institute and passed out the officers.
“The supersonic planes played a big role in eliminating the ADF rebels. The concept of combined arms is the good way to go. The combined arms move through the use of both air force and artillery is crucial in winning a fight,” Museveni said.
The president also addressed the squadron officers and guests who attended the passing out ceremony but also witnessed an air force demonstration of their operations against hostile forces.
He paid tribute to UPDF for the job well done when it launched an attack on the ADF rebels in Eastern DR Congo on November 30, 2021.
“On the first day, we destroyed them by using the air force and long range artillery. Later, the infantry was spread out. The rebels are now in trouble because of the correct use of the force,” he said.
He observed that the training of an air force pilot takes 35 hours at a rate of US $ 10,000 per hour.
He, therefore, noted that it is good to minimise costs as has been demonstrated by training within the country.
He also briefed the trainees on his experiences during the liberation struggle in Uganda in the 1970s, noting that the concept of combined arms is very crucial.
The president noted that air force pilots were currently earning Shs4million per month and said that this package was not sufficient. He assured them that the pay would be revised upwards as soon as resources are available.
Museveni pledged to build the road leading to the institute, the runway, and infrastructure within the complex.
The president said that the government was fully committed to provide more facilities such as buildings for classes, dormitories, libraries and computer labs in order to improve in service delivery.
He said that it was crucial for the officers to remain alive by taking care of their lives.
Museveni warned them against being promiscuous, adding that alcoholism was very dangerous.
The president warned them against stealing fuel but also commended the army leadership for the good job they have done.
He observed that UPDF is providing security so that the society gets time to work for change.
Museveni lectured the continuing students that there are four principles that must be observed towards attaining prosperity of the people.
He noted that the first principle is patriotism noting that is every citizen’s duty to promote patriotism in the country.
Museveni also informed the group that there is need to promote Pan-Africanism and that through this practice, Uganda has the opportunity of securing a market for its products.
The other principle, he added, is Socio- economic transformation.
According to Museveni, society must produce skilled working people, adding that if they are educated, they will become new people.
He stressed that Uganda needs a new society of educated people who are generating income.
The President said never again should Africa be colonised and be compelled to lag behind in human development.
The other principle he mentioned is democracy.
Museveni observed that Africa lagged behind due to failure to invent machines, explaining that for a period of 300 years, the African continent lost people through slave trade.
He reminded the students that Europe continued progressing after the invention of machines that covered various sectors such as the printing press, the steam engine and the railway.
The president criticized people who claim that a tribe is more important that the country.
“We must work for patriotism,” he stressed.
The Minister of Defence, Vincent Ssempijja saluted President Museveni for the lecture, adding that the president was exemplary and that Uganda was gifted to have him.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, said that UPDF has survived because of President Museveni’s wise leadership.
He said that there is need to have a combined forces training.
The UPDF Air Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Charles Lutaaya, said that the Uganda Air Force Academy was launched in 2009 and requested the president for more training slots for the air force.
The commandant of the institute, Col. James Muhwezi, saluted President Museveni for establishing the institute that he said has got three schools in the same campus.