Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Eighteen combat aircraft pilot cadets and 172 aircraft engineers have passed out at the Military Airbase in Bardege Division in Gulu district. The military base is under the Air Force Wing of the Uganda People’s Defense Force – UPDF.
The defense pilots graduated on Tuesday in advanced combat and operational flight on ground attack using fighter jets after completing an eight-year course that began in 2011.
The pass out ceremony was punctuated by several hours of combat flight demonstrations on Cessna 172 and L39 fighter jets. It attracted a lot of cheers from the senior commanders and invited guests among whom were spouses of the pilots.
In his brief remarks, Lt. Gen. Charles Lutaaya, the Commander Air Defense revealed that the accomplishments of the demonstrations done were due to the selfless efforts, integrity and excellence of the pilots guided by expert trainers from Bulgarian military and civil aviation firm, Jotov & Son
Gen. David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) asserted that the advanced combat flight training is part the country’s long term vision of professionalizing the army and making Air Force superior in the region.
Passing out the pilots, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni emphasized the need to enforce the policy of studying science subjects in schools like physics that has yielded results for the new pilots who can now reap from what they sowed.
Museveni, who is also the Commander in Chief of Defense Forces, urged the cadet pilots to observe core values of air forces; remaining healthy by avoiding reckless living, serving above self and love for the country.
In July 2016, a total of 20 fighter Jet pilots and 50 aircraft technicians were also passed out from the same base as the first cohort of Ugandan pilots who received training in the military aviation sector after a five-year course.