Uganda sends 219 defense forces for field training in Tanzania under EAC protocol

UPDF officers during the flagging off ceremony late last month.

Uganda, Kampala  – A contingent of 219 Ugandans, comprising of 163 Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF]  personnel, 37 Uganda Police Force [UPF], 02 Uganda Prison Service [UPS] and 17 civilian personnel have been flagged off to participate in the  11th Field Training Exercise (FTX) in Tanga region, United Republic of  Tanzania.

The function was presided over by the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces [D-CDF] Lt. Gen Wilson Mbadi at Gadaffi military cantonment Headquarters in Jinja district, late last month.

Addressing the Uganda Contingent, Lt.Gen Wilson Mbadi said the EAC FTX USHIRIKINO IMARA 11-2018 is to be conducted in Tanga, United Republic of Tanzania (URT) from 05 November 2018 to 21 November 2018 by East African Community [EAC] partner States that include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, pursuant to Article 2 of the EAC protocol on cooperation on Defense Affairs.

Lt Gen Mbadi said the EAC-FTX model is designed based on peace support operations (PSO), Disaster Management (DM), Counter Terrorism (CT) and counter piracy (CP) themes.

“The aim of the exercise is to jointly train and exercise the military, the police and civilian Components from the six(06) participating EAC partner states on joint planning and conduct of operations necessary to resolve arising crisis,” Lt Gen Mbadi said.

The Deputy CDF strongly emphasized discipline, hard work, and professional conduct during the exercise. He asked the Ugandan contingent to maintain their Pan Africanist spirit, exhibit exemplary performance and be good Uganda ambassadors during the EAC Forces Field Training Exercise in Tanzania.

He further told the forces that the joint annual rotational EAC FTX is aimed at in operability and testing the capabilities of pre-deployments during peace keeping and peace enforcement missions aiming at combating complex security challenges in the EAC region.

The Chief of Training and Recruitment (CTR), Brig Wills Byarugaba observed that some notable security challenges faced by Uganda and the EAC region can be addressed through such joint military exercises that help armed forces build the required capabilities.

He noted that EAC forces have gone beyond exercises and are already operating together in regional missions like AMISOM in Somalia.

Brig Byarugaba further said that the East African Community Joint Military Exercises are conducted annually on a rotational basis in accordance with the EAC memorandum of understanding (MOU) and cooperation on peace, Defense and Security.

This, he said is in line with the decision of the EAC Sectorial Council and in line with a designed elaborate program of activities that include Joint training, Joint Operation, Technical Assistance, cultural exchanges and sports and games to enhance the spirit of comradeship and interoperability among the EAC Armed Forces and other stakeholders in the great lakes region.

The EAC decision on Field Training Exercises(FTX), was reached  in 2004 at a meeting in Addis-ababa Ethiopia to train forces within EAC member states as a means of demonstrating compatibility  and readiness to deploy in Peace support operations(PSOs) basing on  past experiences of conflicts in Africa, such as the Rwanda Genocide, Somalia, and  South Sudan.

At the end of the Field Training Exercise, all participants are expected to achieve the following objectives:

         a. Enhance interoperability between the EAC partner state Armed Forces police component, Civilian component and other stakeholders.

         b. Enhance the state of readiness of the EAC partner states’ Armed Forces, Police Component, Civilian components and other stakeholders in response to complex and multidimensional security challenges.

c. Enhance the state of readiness of the EAC partner states Armed forces, Police.

         d. Strengthen cooperation among EAC partner states Armed forces, police component, civilian component and other stakeholders.

         e. Practice EAC standing operating procedures (SOPs).

         f. Promote the EAC integration agenda and enhance its awareness.

         g. Practice EAC partner States Armed Forces, Police component, Civilian component and other stakeholders in planning and conduct of public Affairs in support of operations. Exercise participants on the application of international Humanitarian law (IHL).

         h. Practice EAC standing operating procedures (SOPs). Practice multinational and multidimensional Logistics support.

Uganda last hosted an EAC Field Training Exercise (FTX) in Jinja in 2014.
Next year 2019, Uganda will again host the FTX as well as 2020 when Uganda is also expected to host the EAC Command Post Exercise (CPX).

This year’s EAC FTX codenamed “USHIRIKIANO IMARA” 2018-TANGA is hosted by Tanzania.

The flagging off function was also attended by Brig James Ruhensi Uganda Contingent Team Leader, Brig Kinalwa Commandant JCSC, ACP David Balindawa Team Leader UPF and ACP Frank Baine UPS Team leader.

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