By Mark Kawalya
Uganda’s army, the Ugandan Defense Forces (UPDF), will soon join other nations that have deployed satellites in the sky, according to information from President Museveni. “The ability of the military to respond to more threats is now greater and more broad. When we launch our satellite, it will complement what we already have since it offers eyes in the sky. We do have some eyes there, but the satellite will give us more,” Museveni remarked.
The president was making comments at the Uganda Military Academy in Kabamba during the pass-out of 295 cadet officers from the UPDF Land and Air Forces. Museveni noted that the UPDF’s capacities will be enhanced through aerial surveillance, adding that the Ugandan army has continued to expand by leaps and bounds.
The president said that the UPDF continues to support many facets of national defense. The force is currently working to scale its presence in space and consolidate the marine division to serve the various areas of Uganda that are bordered by freshwater.
Museveni believes many young people who join the UPDF are fortunate since the force is now a modern organization when compared to the times of its pioneers, when it lacked modern state-of-the-art facilities.
According to Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, four of the cadets graduated from schools in Kenya, Jamaica, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Gen. Mbadi expressed appreciation to President Museveni for his visionary leadership that has been instrumental in growing the UPDF into a professional, effective, and accountable force.
Mbadi added that efforts are underway to transform the Uganda Military Academy into an international center of excellence for cadet training, not just for Uganda but also for partner states in the region.
“One of the requirements, particularly for Uganda Military Academy, was to introduce a three-year cadet graduate course in line with the East African Community partner state academies as required by the East African Community defense and cooperation protocols,” Gen. Mbadi said.