President Museveni, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces, has in the latest UPDF reshuffle deployed at least 14 of the 18 pioneer graduates of the Uganda National Defence College in Buikwe district.
In the latest changes communicated by the defence spokesperson, Brig Felix Kulayigye on Saturday, Brig Peter Onzia Chandia who was among the first graduates in January this year has been sent to Karama, about 40 Km off Mubende Fort Portal highway as the commandant of the Armoured Warfare Training School.
The school is meant to develop human resource capabilities for Motorised Infantry and Armoured Brigade of the UPDF which includes tank crews among others.
Whereas he has spent the last eight years in the Special Forces Command(SFC) where he rose from the director for strategy and plans in 2014 to becoming the overall commander in 2021, Brig Chandia previously excelled as a tank platoon commander, tank squadron commander, tank battalion procurement officer, tank battalion maintenance officer, tank battalion operations and training officer and later tank battalion commanding officer.
During those positions, he amassed an experience of nine years between 2004 and 2013.
Therefore, being deployed at the Armoured Warfare Training School in Karama, Brig Chandia returns to a position he is familiar with and will now replace Brig Richard Chemonges.
Col Edith Nakalema
In the latest changes, the president also appointed Col Edith Nakalema as the head the newly created State House Investors Protectorate Unit.
The unit is mandated to deal with bribery in public offices especially those who fleece money from investors in form of kickbacks.
Col Nakalema a stern and compulsive public servant is not new in the fight against corruption, having previously served as the head of the State House Anti Corruption Unit.
The president has also deployed Brig David Biheimaiso Isimbwa as the commander of the Ground-Based Air Defence Training School (GBAD), Brig Chris Ogwal as the commander of the Junior Command and Staff College in Jinja.
On the other side, Brig Bonny Geoffrey Wolimbwa who was previously the commander of the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Nakaseke district has been sent to Kaweweta Recruits Training School (KRTS), in Nakaseke district as the commandant.
The commander in chief has also deployed former defence spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso to Jinja as the Chief of Staff for the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre whereas Brig Anthony Mbusi Lukwago has been deployed as the Chief Operations Officer and Brig Daniel Mugumya Kakono returns as the commander of the Field Artillery Division headquartered in Masindi.
Col John Patrick Otongo has been deployed as the second in command for the first infantry division, headquartered at Kakiri in Wakiso district whereas Col Christopher Ogumelaki has been appointed the director for Operations other than War (DOOW) in the UPDF.
Also deployed is Col Wycliff Ruterana Keita as the new commandant of the Uganda Military Academy Kabamba.
National Defence College
Uganda’s National Defence College opened in December 2021 as the UPDF joined other countries like South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, the US and the UK among others with such facilities to train senior officers.
The college is a national security and strategic studies training and educational institution, premised at producing graduates in strategic leadership to government on national and international security matters.
The officers are trained in areas of policy formulation and analysis, strategic leadership, strategic planning and management, political economy, national and regional security studies, international relations, peace and security studies and defense resource management among others.
Previously, the country would send the officers abroad for training but this will be done from here.
The first ever graduates of the National Defence College located in Buikwe district graduated in January 2023 and these were first-star generals (Brigadier) and senior military commanders (Colonel) .
The College is affiliated with Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and largest public university and Maj Gen Francis Okello is its first commandant.