The Commander of Air Force, Lt Gen Charles Okidi has today officiated the pass out of twelve pilots and fifty-two engineers who completed an eight months training course at Soroti Air Force Wing.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, Lt Gen Okidi commended the trainees for the good discipline and resilience that they exhibited since the training started and urged them to ensure the safety of the newly acquired strategic assets. He applauded the pilots for their job in providing air power during operations. “There is no doubt that the introduction of the attack helicopters into the battlefield changed the tides of war in Northern Uganda against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in favour of the UPDF and continue to do so in the subsequent operations. So, with the acquisition of New Air Assets, we are ready to serve our beloved country more in that capacity,” remarked Lt Gen Okidi.
Lt Gen Okidi reaffirmed the Air Force’s capacity to provide the much-needed Airpower that the joint operations require since it is mandated to provide and give support to the ground forces and this can only be achieved through continuous training.
The Commander UPDF Air Force noted that the Soroti Air Force Wing will soon be elevated to the level of managing the Eastern sector, Aviation deployment Center as well as dealing with the insecurity in the Karamoja region.
Lt Col Collins Nkwasibwe the Soroti Air Force Wing Commandant urged the graduates to continuously train in order to achieve perfection and stay relevant to the institution. ”Training is a continuous process, perfection takes time, effort and determination. Therefore, in war prepare for peace and in peace prepare for war,” urged Lt Col Nkwasibwe.
Earlier, the Pilots started with a demonstration for the MI-28NE attack helicopters at Olilim Demo grounds in Katakwi District.
The function was attended by Chief of Staff-Land Forces Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba, Chief of Staff-Air Forces Brig Gen David Gonyi, Chief of Staff-Reserve Forces Brig Gen Mwanje, Brig Gen Isimbwa among others.