The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Air Force (UPDAF) Chief of Staff (COS-AF) Maj Gen Charles Okidi has concluded his six days official working visit to African Union Mission to Somalia ‘AMISOM’ Sector One in Somalia.
Gen Okidi was received by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Col Elvis T Byamukama at Aden Abdulle International Airport (AAIA).
He was briefed and taken through a guided tour and inspection of key installations, assets in Halane Base Camp-Mogadishu and Baledogle Military Airbase (BMA) by the Deputy Sector One Commander, Col John Winston Mugarura.
“I came to inspect and merge our country’s owned equipment which had been delaying the launch of mobility air operations as a force multiplier so that we kick off the support to AMISOM operations” said Gen Okidi shortly after the security briefing.
The COS-AF noted that the UPDF history of aviation support to AMISOM stems from 2012, an effort the army leadership remained focused on into reality.
He stressed that with current rainy weather conditions, affecting Main Supply Routes(MSR), the air assets would enhance on mobility operations.
The General commended AMISOM efforts in the pacification of Somalia despite some challenges and stressed the significance of a peaceful Somalia on the overall stability of the African continent.
He urged the troops to remain focused and consolidate the achievements, most importantly maintaining relative security and peace.
He noted with appreciation the troops’ high morale in the execution of their mission despite the global COVID19 pandemic disruptions.
“To ensure safety of own troops and advance mission’s mandate, you must cautiously observe and adhere to stipulated COVID19 SOPs” Gen Okidi asserted to the soldiers.
In his remarks, the deputy Contingent Commander (D/CONTICO) Col John Winston Mugarura, representing the Sector One Commander, Brig Gen Richard Otto, thanked the visiting aviation delegation for their distinctive technical guidance and resourceful input.
As part of his visit, Gen Okidi held courtesy meetings and discussed matters of common interest and cooperation with the Uganda’s deputy head of mission to Somalia Amb. Maj Gen (Rtd) Nathan Mugisha and the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt Gen Diomede Ndegeya.
He also met the key line partners of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS)- Chief Aviation Officer Mr. Ernest Manzano and the Chief, Office of Security Cooperation Somalia Maj Louis Cascino among others.
He was accompanied by the Director of Logistics-Air force (DOL-AF) Col Darlington Mugisha, deputy Director of Operations, Maj George Buga Andruga (Pilot) and representative of Director Intelligence Air force, Maj Patrick K Kubayo among others.