Four hundred and twenty soldiers drawn from Mountain Division units and Special Forces Command (SFC), have completed a four months Mountain Warfare Technical course at Mountain Warfare Training School (MWTS) – Karugutu.
The vigorous mountain technical training involves maneuvering the harsh terrain, thick forests, gorges, valleys, escapements and river crossing while advancing to the enemy position.
Presiding over the closing ceremony, Col John Winston Mugarura who is the second in command of Mountain Division, informed the gathering that the military does not train just as an end in itself but to become professional. “In the military we prepare a soldier to suit the environment he/ she will operate in because victory is not gained in the battle field but it is in how you prepare.” elaborated Col Mugarura.
He said from what he had seen during the demonstration and the briefing from the commandant, the graduates were ready for the task. “You have demonstrated exceptional skill capabilities to operate in mountain environment, on how to use the technical equipment, endurance and physical fitness; no doubt you are ready for the task.”
The Chief Guest urged the graduates to endeavor keep fit and healthy reminding them of the two global pandemics still amidst us; corona and HIV AIDS. “We have been with you while you were healthy; remember the pandemic of COVID 19 and AIDS is still amidst us. Take care because we still need you to go for further training especially foreign countries,” cautioned Col Mugarura.
The Commandant MWTS, Col Dothan Musoke Kavuma, informed the Chief Guest that the objective of the course is to equip soldiers with necessary technics and tactics employed in higher altitudes and difficult terrain. “The tactics required in mountain environment are quite different from the known tactics. We want the soldiers to acclimatize in such terrain to enable them fight easy,” said Col Kavuma, adding that the whole training package is comprised of Mountain techniques, field craft, Map using in mountains, Communication, skills at arms and public health. “Emphasis on physical training is paramount. We also give a dose in political education, patriotism and Human Rights because we want upright soldiers.”
The Commandant expressed gratitude to the communities of Karugutu who have lived harmoniously with ant rendered unwavering support to the military school.
He also thanked the UPDF Leadership and the Mountain division Commander and Staff for the support both in form of logistics, finance and instructors.
The mountain technical warfare course which begun on 18th October 2021, had 460 trainees including 15 officers at the ranks of second Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain and eleven female soldiers.
However, on closing the course only 420 managed to go through. Three students were awarded prizes where 2Lt Milton Drakana was overall best in the field, Lance Corporal Onzima Ratib best in the field and Private Dawa Rafa was best female student.
The accomplished mountain maneauvarist soldiers will now be sent back to their units before being deployed in operation Shujja in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.