PIC: Engola (seated seventh-left) flanked by Muhoozi and Gutti with the graduands and other academicians at the pass-out in Jinja on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Credit: Jackie Nambogga)
JINJA- Uganda’s highest army training institute has passed out its first lot of soldiers after undertaking a one year Masters of Arts degree in defence and security at the Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka in Jinja.
According to the college commandant, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, of the 40 students passed out at the institute on Thursday, majority with requisite academic qualifications enrolled for the programme conducted by Makerere University.
In 2014, the college was affiliated to Makerere University with its highest qualification equated to a masters of arts in defence and security studies.
It is mandated to train and professionalise the officers from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and partner states to assume high responsibilities in Command and Staff roles.
PIC: The army Chief, Gen. David Muhoozi (left) while handing over a certificate to a graduand at the college in Jinja
Officiating at the pass out, the State minister for Defence and general duties, Rtd. Col. Charles Okello Engola, said defence and security studies were crucial to the officers of the 21st Century.
He said this would enhance their awareness of the nature and extent of the threats faced in dynamic security environs including the role of the armed forces in tackling threats.
Engola said the students were now professional security experts after being equipped with the necessary tools and instruments in case of challenges.
“I firmly believe the graduands have appreciated the significance of the knowledge acquired on this course to develop their professional competencies,” he said.
Of the 40 students, Gutti said 31 were drawn from the UPDF, while Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya sent two officers each and South Africa had one.
PIC: A woman decorates her husband during the graduation
Engola thanked the respective governments for sending their troops to jointly share knowledge.
He acknowledged the growing demand for the course offered by the partner states, saying this was a clear testimony of the continued college high esteem.
To the graduands, Engola tasked them with jealously guarding the various achievements attained by their respective countries through sacrifice by the gallant men and women of the armed forces.
Meanwhile, the Army Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. David Muhoozi, urged the students to implement what they learnt for the world to become a more secure place for peace and development to thrive.
“The more you advance in your academic carriers, the more expectations we have in you towards tackling global threats. We are waiting to see how your training will impact our respective forces,” Muhoozi said.
PIC: Engola (left) awarding a certificate to one of the students at the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka in Jinja on Thursday
According to Gutti, this was the 13th course since the college’s inception in 2004, bringing the number of graduands to 505.
He noted that the students’ horizons had been broadened for the 47 weeks, saying they could ably articulate and balance issues in a broad based perspective while undertaking tactical, operational and strategic assignments.
Present was the South Africa Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. G.R Masondo, the commander land forces Maj. Gen. Sam Kavuma and Brig. Don Nabasa, head of special forces Command among others.