The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi, has flagged off 1556 Officers and Men of UPDF comprising of UGABAG XXXVII at Peace Support Operations Centre – Singo in Nakaseke District.
The troops are to replace UGABAG XXXIV, in Somalia.
While addressing the forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi expressed gratitude to the partners that have supported the UPDF in its pre-deployment training and praised the team for a job well done.
He further thanked the UPDF instructors for equally preserving the standard of both the centre and the training to international standards.
Gen Mbadi thanked the UPDF Leadership for the infrastructure improvement of the training Centre which included the construction of the trainee dormitories, and administration offices among others.
He further urged the Soldiers to put Pan-Africanism, Patriotism, discipline and good fighting at the forefront as they execute their duties in Somalia since they are the pillars that make UPDF stand tall as a Force on the Continent.
“You have been ably trained and we are satisfied with your readiness, we ask for nothing else but exceptional performance, the Somali people have their own culture and this is the reason why you undergo vigorous training before you step foot in Somalia therefore, work harder to consolidate your predecessor’s achievements,’’ Gen Mbadi said.
He implored the Battle Group commanded by Col Charles Asiimwe to save their Mission allowances with the UPDF SACCO, and use it well to prepare for their future retirement journey.
He further commended the troops for appreciating the services of WASCO and reminded them that WAZALENDO is growing faster than any other SACCO in the Country and that to match its speed, Soldiers should push upfront with it by not getting and investing loans in what he referred to as liabilities but rather in assets that are income-generating.
He urged the Officers and Men to strictly degrade Al-Shabaab so that the Somalia Army can take over the responsibility that “we are undertaking on behalf of the African Union (AU) for Peace and Security in Somalia”.
He thanked the local Leadership for the peace and harmony that has helped in securing Uganda which has allowed our Country to survive and grow.
The UPDF Commander Land Force, Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga, cautioned Soldiers against reckless behaviour that would expose them to diseases like COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS which still existed in communities.
“This Army is built on a bedrock of ideological orientation to produce cadres who will remain cautious while doing their work,” noted Lt Gen kayanja Muhanga.
He added that the Mission calls for professionalism and discipline at all levels while diligently executing their duties.
The Commandant Singo Peace Support Operation Centre, Brig Gen Max Gumisiriza, thanked the UPDF Leadership for the continuous support rendered to the centre.
“The Centre remains focused on achieving its mission of conducting pre-deployment training to troops to enable them to participate in multinational peace support operations.”
He thanked the instructors and support staff for having achieved the training objectives which included; enhancing Command, Staff and Soldier skills in peace support Operations, improving leadership qualities and underscoring the importance of political education in peace support Operations among others.
“We expect both groups UGBAG XXXVII and UMUMT to display a high standard of discipline and exhibit professionalism and by the end of a tour of duty, to participate in the lesson learned workshop. You are leaving Uganda to go add a productive stone to the stability of Somalia which will, in the long run, add to the total stability of the African Continent. Strive harder so that those who judged us by our heights will remember the depth from where we started the Mission,” said the School Commandant.
The flag-off ceremony was attended by the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, Out-Going Chief of Staff Land Forces, Maj Gen Bob Ogiki, Chief of Staff Reserve Force, Brig Gen Mwanje Ssekiranda, Land Forces Director of Personnel and Administration, Brig Gen Julius Bagonza, Global Peace Initiative Partners represented by Mr Curtis Crum, Residence District commissioner Nakaseke Capt Yahaya, among others.