A total of 44 senior UPDF officers including former deputy spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki have graduated from the Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC), Kimaka in Jinja City after completing a year’s course.
The State Minister for Defence, Jacob Oboth Oboth presided over the ceremony in which he noted that the only way to maintain a serving military is through continuous training.
He said the course postulates a new career and calls for new service, adding that the region faces multiple security challenges that require global combined responses.
The minister urged the officers to broaden their focus and respond to security issues in a strategic manner on top of being loyal and committed to service but also commended President Museveni who is also the commander in chief of the UPDF for building a strong and modern army that he said is a cornerstone for the social economic transformation of the country.
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi in a speech read by his Deputy Lt Gen Peter Elwelu noted that complex security challenges exist locally, regionally and internationally.
He implored the officers to holistically look at issues to do with environmental degradation, climatic changes, security challenges and the current youth bulge.
Gen Mbadi indicated that strategic fighting exists under conditions of disruptive change.
“Win wars without firing a shot since you now understand disruptive security challenges and emerging new technologies,” Gen Mbadi said.
He further urged them to explore resources and the infrastructure for their success.
The Deputy CDF Lt Gen Peter Elwelu commended the solidarity expressed by all the EAC partner states towards integration and also called upon the officers to avoid being taken by surprise by being alert spiritually, militarily and physically.
The Commandant of the College, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti congratulated the senior officers upon their successful completion of the course that he said prepares them for future command and staff positions.
He urged them to utilise the acquired knowledge and skills to address the existing asymmetric warfare, epidemics and environmental challenges.
“Not only have you undertaken military studies, but you have broadly covered issues to deal with policy and strategy, national and international affairs; which gives an advantage to handle complex international issues,” Lt Gen Gutti noted.
The training saw facilitators from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Uganda Management Institute, international and local NGOs, government ministries, departments and agencies provide external support to student officers.
Of the 44, two were from Burundi, two from Kenya, two from Rwanda, two from South Sudan and two from Tanzania and Uganda had the biggest chunk of officers who underwent the training.
The officers were awarded the college badges, signifying the decoration Passed Staff College (psc) and the best students got gifts for their exemplary performance.
The best all round student was Lt Col Richard Nimanya, Maj RW Nkatha was best international student while Col Deo Akiiki was recognized as the best at central lecture hall contributions.
The graduation was graced by the Chief of Personnel and Administration in the UPDF, Maj Gen George Igumba, the commandant of Uganda's National Defence College , Maj Gen Francis Okello, Deputy Air Force commander, Maj Gen Charles Okidi, Commander Special Forces Command Brig Gen Felix Busizoori and the Chief of Staff Land Forces Brig Gen Bob Ogiki.
Others included the Commandant of Ecole Military in the DR Congo Lt Gen Banze Rubundji, Commandant of SCSC Karen (Kenya) Maj Gen Njiru Peter Mbogo, Commandant of Dr. Garang Memorial Military College Maj Gen Dr. Gatwech Gai, Commandant of SCSC Duluti in Tanzania, Brig Gen Ghuliki Sylvester Damian, Rwandan Defence attaché to Uganda Col James Burabyo and South Korea Defence attaché to Uganda Col Lee, among others.