Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Police management has passed out 270 Crisis Response Team (CRT) Police personnel after undergoing training on Oil and Gas protection.
The group that was passed out on Friday includes 33 female police officers from the rank of Superintendent of Police to the Police Constable.
They were training alongside another group of 70 Scene of Crime Officer- SOCOs who underwent forensic services training at Olilim Counter Terrorism Police Training School in Katakwi district.
The Acting Commandant of Olilim Counter Terrorism Police Training School, Dhikusoko Awali says that the training was conducted to equip the Police personnel with skills and abilities that will enhance security in the oil and gas exploration in the Albertine Region. The group was trained on the concepts of countering terrorism using the specialized equipment and arms in the oil and gas installations.
Frank Mwesigwa, the Acting Director of Oil and Gas says that the trainees are the first group of the Police personnel to be trained following the directive from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2011 to the Police to form specialized oil and gas protection Unit. The directive led to the establishment of the Oil and Gas Police Division in 2012, according to Mwesigwa.
He said that the group will be deployed to the different sectors and zones to cover the Albertine Region, the lower Nile, EACOP and Kampala areas. The trained officers will oversee the protection of the oil and gas resources of the country following the discovery and exploration of oil in the Albertine graben.
Maj. Gen. Katsigazi Tumusiime, the Deputy Inspector General of Police warned the trainees against misconduct in the field to be able to secure the oil and gas resources and all the activities involved.
Ronald Lotwa, one of the trainees in Oil and Gas says that the training has helped him improve on his ability to operate multiple weapons, offered knowledge on tactical medical care, close quarter battle, VIP protection, counter terrorism, and improved understanding of the contemporary issues in police among others.
Uganda discovered commercial oil reserves in 2006 but its production was delayed by lack of infrastructure. In January 2023, Uganda launched its first oil drilling programme, a key milestone as the country races to meet its target of first oil output in 2025.
The overall project is being jointly developed by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) as well as France’s TotalEnergies, along with the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company.