The UPDF Special Forces Command (SFC) is to release a video showcasing the troops’ training and combat capabilities as part of activities to mark the 35th annual Armed Forces Week and Tarehe Sita celebrations.
The three-and-a-half minute video comprises footage of SFC soldiers and other regular units of the UPDF in training and combat operations.
According to Maj. Chris Magezi, the SFC spokesperson, the video highlights the tactical proficiency of Uganda’s modern armed forces, a force that had its origins as a guerilla army in the early 1980s.
“The UPDF is now a professional army that has sustainably contributed to peace and stability in Uganda and on the continent.”
Every year during the first week of February, the UPDF embarks on a week of celebration and service in commemoration of Tarehe Sita (Kiswahili for the sixth day).
This year’s national celebrations to mark Tarehe Sita will be held at Kololo Independence Grounds, Kampala, on February 6 – this Saturday. The theme for this year’s celebrations is: "UPDF – The people’s army, vanguard of the revolution and guarantor of peace and stability for social-economic transformation and democracy".
Magezi said the video, amongst others, demonstrates commandos engaged in combat without arms (hand-to-hand combat), close quarter assault teams, obstacle crossing, rappelling, to heavier platforms like armored fighting vehicles and air force fighter jets in action.
“The video also highlights the valor and discipline that is required of members of the armed forces, and aims to educate Ugandans about their defence forces and inspire the youth to join the UPDF,” he added.
The video clip (not for sale), will be released to the public on Thursday, and will also be shared on all media platforms available, including YouTube.
SFC is an elite and highly trained unit of the UPDF which is tasked with carrying out specialized operations.
Their mission is "to develop and operate a powerful and versatile special operations force that is situated within the unique Ugandan way of war and is responsive to the requirements of the UPDF and the nation".
The unit has participated in counter-insurgency operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), as well as contributing towards the African Union Peace Keeping Operation in Somalia (AMISOM), playing a vital role in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants.
On February 6, 1981, a group of NRA fighters led by Gen. Yoweri Museveni launched their first attack on Kabamba barracks in Mubende district. This was the first attack of a rebel outfit that would later grow in size, competence and ambition and that would finally achieve the liberation of the country in January 1986, after a five-year protracted war.
The victorious NRA guerrillas, who have since metamorphosed into the present UPDF, ended state-inspired tyranny against citizens, which had been the hallmark of previous regimes since independence in 1962.
Throughout the Armed Forces Week, UPDF units and formations across the country will engage in a number of civil-military activities such as cleaning to improve public hygiene and sanitation, establishing medical camps to provide free medical services, HIV testing and counseling, minor surgical procedures, and free safe male circumcision services.