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CDF Gen Muhoozi Flags Off UPDF Aviation Unit To Somalia

The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF, Gen David Muhoozi, has flagged-off a UPDF Aviation Unit due to deploy under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The unit under the command of Col Moses Amanya was flagged off at Nakasongola UPDF Air Force (UPDF – AF) Wing. This is the first time UPDF is deploying air assets in Somalia since the chopper crash in Mt Kenya in 2012. Russian-built Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopters were travelling to Somalia to help fight al-Qaeda-linked militants when they crashed. The CDF said the operations against the Al-Shabaab insurgents would be much easier with the presence of air support. “The presence of airpower will offer us extensive asymmetric advantages over the unconventional and `dispersed enemy in Somalia. With air assets, we will be able to respond quickly with precision fires or inject a quick reaction force once the enemy assembles,” he said.

Gen Muhoozi said the presence of air assets would also not only guarantee the dominance of firepower for the UPDF over the enemy but also provide marked advantage on technical intelligence, among other benefits.   “Once eventually fully injected on the operation theatre with all the assets, we are confident that you will provide the ground forces with the necessary firepower that was missing to subdue the enemy. Airpower is also an important intelligence capability, enhancing surveillance and reconnaissance that we have been operating without for over a decade,” he said, urging the Air Force team to fully cultivate the advantages they can offer to the ground forces to bring a quick end to the Al-Shabaab menace. The Commander Air Forces, Lt Gen Charles Lwanga Lutaaya said the deployment is based on a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between the African Union, United Nations and Government of Uganda……

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