A total of 305 Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) have today graduated after a 6-month Basic Intelligence Course at the Military Intelligence School Migyera in Nakasongola District.
Officiating at the pass-out ceremony, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi noted that institutions like the UPDF need an extension of the eyes and ears to make the right strategic decisions. “You are the eyes and ears that tell us what is happening to enable us to make the most effective decisions from what you tell us. This course has enhanced your capacity to think centrally and tactfully. It has laid the basic intelligence foundation you need to be able to address tactical and intelligence matters – tell your bosses what they need to know and hear to make correct decisions,” the CDF said.
Gen Mbadi advised the graduands to always be open to change and new ideas to keep abreast with the ever-changing dynamics of the fast-moving world we live in.
He encouraged them to always strive to be experts in their subject area to be able to help their bosses navigate the complex issues that they face in their daily work. “This mindset can enable you to gain confidence and be successful agents where you work and, in the process, inspire the people your work with,” Gen Mbadi advised.
He noted that challenges are part of the UPDF’s wider thematic plan to professionalise the army and make it more effective. “A good commander is one who employs the forces he has, not the ones he would have wanted to have,” the CDF chipped in.
He assured soldiers that their welfare was being worked on, especially their accommodation and salaries. “The machine is the man behind it. Nobody ever becomes great without looking at the welfare of his troops,” Gen Mbadi assured the excited soldiers.
He enjoined the troops to continue enhancing the military-civil relationship because the UPDF is a peoples’ army without whom it would not be. He warned the graduands against careless living.
He congratulated them and enjoined them to work towards self-development.
Representing Maj Gen James Birungi, the CMI, Brig Gen Abdul Rugumayo the Deputy CMI hailed graduands for completing the best intelligence course.
He showered glowing gratitude to the JCOS, CTR and CLE who intervened and made the course possible.
He informed the Chief Guest that the school still needs support and CMI shall present the needs in a phased manner until the school gets to the level envisaged. “The school hosts two major wings i.e., intelligence and counter-terrorism wing and of immediate requirement is the making power reliable,” he noted.
He called on the graduands to always be disciplined as they wait for deployment in the different areas of need.
In his introductory remarks, the Commandant of the School of Intelligence, Lt Col James Muhumuza announced that the graduating students had finished 27 weeks of hectic intelligence training since 27th October 2022 when the course officially started. “This class of 305 students is the biggest we have had ever since the inception of this intelligence training school,” he disclosed.
He pointed out that the course was predominantly practical with many field exercises. “Soldiering is built on four fundamentals namely; marksmanship – accuracy not just skills at arms in all we do, discipline, comradeship and political education,” Lt Col Muhumuza emphasised.
Intake BIC22/22-23; 32 of whom were female, were sourced from the different units of the national force. Their course content included basic skills and intelligence packages, leadership, map navigation, physical fitness and ideology, among others.
In attendance were Maj Gen Bob Ogik – Div II Commander, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa – Military Police Commander, Brig Gen David Gonyi – Chief of Staff Air Force, Brig Gen G K Kigozi Deputy CPA, Brig Gen Joseph Ssemwanga – Div I Commander, Brig Gen Dan Kakono – Artillery Division Commander, Brig Abdu Rugumayo – Deputy CMI, Brig Gen Tom Kabuye – Asst Deputy CMI, Hon Ssekigozi Bernard Kirya – MP Budiebo Constituency and H/W Mukiibi Tonny -Mayor Migyera Town Council, among a number of other Senior Officers, Directors and Junior officers of the UPDF.