By JACKIE NAMBOGGA
The chief of the newly established civil military operation (CMO) affairs force in the UPDF Col. Moses Ddiba Ssentongo has called for support to establish a centre of excellence training academy of the CMO cadres.
He said the UPDF elevated CMO affairs to a fully-fledged chieftaincy two weeks ago but it faces challenges which include human resource and lack of training manuals to pass information to other generations.
"We need to have organized information by developing history regarding CMO which can be stored and also be passed to other future cadres in terms of developed materials," Ssentongo stressed.
He said this at the ongoing two-week CMO training which has attracted 55 UPDF officers at the Junior Staff College in Gadaffi barracks in Jinja town.
The training that is being funded by the United States armed forces is also facilitated by trainers from U.S.A under the combined joint task force horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), led by Maj. Mark .J. Berman.
All the trainers have ever served in war torn countries such as Comoro, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and are sharing their experiences with the participants on how to deal with civilians during their civil military operations.
However, Ssentongo stressed the need of having written manuals on civil military trainings which he said can be passed to other cadres in the force other than basing on foreign trainings by the United States army officers.
"There is need for UPDF experts to work with U.S.A experts in order to write CMO training manuals, we shall require support in this regard," he noted.
He added that; "I know the challenge is big but if we get a fully-fledged centre and also have manuals to follow, we will manage basing on the knowledge we are acquiring.
In response, Lt. Commander Anderson Perez, US' country coordination element officer in Uganda said they were ready to facilitate and build Africa's capacity to solve her own problems.
Ssentongo who was flanked by Lt. Col. John Paul Ssonko, UPDF's director of civil military affairs and the commandant of the Junior staff college Col. Godfrey Golooba revealed that the participants would be deployed in Somalia on a civil military operation affairs mission after undergoing the training.
"Somalia is steadily stabilizing and today's conflict is not much in the guns or fighter jets, majority of the conflicts are symmetrical, it is to do with the community where operations take place, we have to get into people's hearts and minds and this is what we are targeting for this training," he noted.