The UPDF Special Forces Command (SFC) has today released a video that showcases the training and combat capabilities of UPDF troops as part of the activities to mark the 35th annual Armed Forces Week and Tarehe Sita celebration.
The three and half minute video, produced by Take 5 productions, comprises footage of Special Forces soldiers and other regular units of UPDF in training and combat operations. It highlights the tactical proficiency of Uganda’s modern armed forces, a force that had its origins as a guerilla army in the early 1980s. The UPDF is now a professional army that has sustainably contributed to peace and stability in Uganda and on the continent.
The video, amongst others, demonstrates commandos engaged in combat without arms (hand-to-hand combat), close quarter assault teams, obstacle crossing, rappelling, to heavier platforms like armored fighting vehicles and air force fighter jets in action. The video also highlights the valor and discipline that is required of members of the armed forces, and aims to educate Ugandans about their defence forces and inspire the youth to join the UPDF.
The SFC is an elite and highly trained unit of the UPDF, which is tasked with carrying out specialized operations. Their mission is ‘to develop and operate a powerful and versatile special operations force that is situated within the unique Ugandan way of war and is responsive to the requirements of the UPDF and the nation’. Since 1986, this unit has evolved in name, purpose and professional training. It has participated in counter-insurgency operations against the LRA, fought off the ADF, and contributed to the African Union Peace Keeping Operation in Somalia (AMISOM), playing a vital role in the fight against Al Shabaab.
The theme for this year’s Armed Forces Week and Tarehe Sita is: UPDF – The people’s army, vanguard of the revolution and guarantor of peace and stability for social-economic transformation and democracy.
Every year during the first week of February, the UPDF embarks on a week of celebration and service in commemoration of Tarehe Sita (the 6th day). On February 6th 1981, a small band of NRA fighters led by Yoweri Museveni launched their first attack on Kabamba Barracks in Mubende District. This was the first attack of a rebel army that would grow in size, competence and ambition and that would finally achieve the liberation of the country after a 5 year protracted war, in January 1986. The victorious NRA guerrillas, who have since metamorphosed into the present UPDF, ended state inspired tyranny against citizens, which had been the hallmark of previous regimes since independence in 1962.
This year’s national celebrations to mark Tarehe Sita will be held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Kampala. Throughout the Armed Forces Week, UPDF units and formations across the country will engage in a number of civil-military activities such as cleaning to improve public hygiene and sanitation, establishing medical camps to provide free medical services, HIV testing and counselling, minor surgical procedures, and free safe male circumcision services.