The President and Commander-In-Chief of UPDF Gen Yoweri Museveni has today passed out 2,610 Local Defence Personnel (LDP) from Labwordwong Training School in Agago District.
In his address to the graduands and guests at the function, the President noted that he was last in the area about three years ago following up on Karamoja disarmament operations and he thanked the UPDF leadership for turning the place into a training school.
He entreated the Commandant to support the school in contributing to the security and socio – economic development of the area.
The President pointed out that the school still had challenges, among them the need for more dormitories, instructors’ houses, parade ground and a more reliable source of water. He warned cattle rustlers still engaged in the vice to desist from and abandon the bad practice as soon as they hear his message.
“Tell those rustlers that they will very soon lose appetite for holding or even seeing a gun; whoever sees the cattle rustlers tell them to stop disturbing our people,” he reiterated.
He guided that some of the new recruits should be deployed in the region to continue with the pacification.
The Commander in Chief also commended the UPDF leadership for supporting the newly passed out recruits and urged them to cherish the laws and Constitution of Uganda.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (D/CDF) Lt Gen Peter Elwelu pointed out that the training still lacked a number of basic necessities.
He thanked management and instructors of the training school for their commitment to passing out trainees of good conduct and called upon them to remain focused. He referred them to a Bible quotation urging them to repent and be ready for the second coming of the Lord to be able to merit heaven.
“Luke 3:14 tells you soldiers not to take money from anyone by force, not to accuse anyone falsely and always be content with what you have, then do your work happily” he cautioned the graduands and wished good life and best of luck in their new deployment.
Lt Col George Steven Eyapu, the Commandant of the Training School thanked the President for gracing the pass out ceremony with his presence. He noted that the graduands were voluntarily recruited by the National Recruitment Team and were officially oriented into the course on 18th October 2021.
He announced that the school was passing out 2,610 fresh LDPs as its 6th lntake; 2,106 of whom are male and 504 females.
“2,376 students were admitted to the 6th intake with 516 females but 47 of them fell by the way side,” he reported.
He reminded the guests that the theme of the course was to train young, energetic Ugandans to be able to augment the civilian authority and back them up with military skills and knowledge.
The recruits who joined the training school on the 7th September 2021 for their Basic Military Training were equipped with military skills and knowledge. These included; marksmanship capabilities, leadership skills, counter insurgency operations, minor tactics and Political Education. Other skills included skills at arms, physical training, military law, organization and administration of the UPDF, First Aid/Public Health, International Humanitarian Law, communication and Lugha ya Kiswahili.
The newly passed out LDPs, all Ugandan citizens, were admitted from the various Districts of Western and South Western Uganda. The students were admitted with various basic academic qualifications and they included 66 Degree holders, 133 Diploma holders, 510 certificate holders in different fields, 426 UACE and 1,473 UCE certificate holders.
The Commandant was also happy to report the modest landmark development achieved in the four years he has been at the helm of the training school.
“The only structures at the school when l assumed office in 2019 could accommodate very few people. The school now prides in a permanent Administration Block, a permanent classroom structure (40x18meters), 5 kitchens, 22 toilets of 6 stances each, a Presidential platform, the Commandant’s permanent house, a VIP house, and the Chief Instructor’s house; the last two items now at 70% completion level, ” he noted.
“We have achieved over 87% of the course objectives and we are happy we are sending to the UPDF top command strong willed, disciplined and well-grounded LDPs for deployment,” he added.
The ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Sam Okiding, Deputy Commander Air Force Maj Gen Charles OKidi, area Members of Parliament and Local leaders, UPDF Senior Officers, Junior officers and Militants, among others.