By Ronaldo Kalangi
The Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi has on Monday launched the Uganda National Defence College (UNDC) steering committee at ministry of defence and veteran affairs (MODVA) headquarters in Mbuya. Gen. Muhoozi applauded UPDF upon starting up a premium Strategic National Defence institution in Uganda. The National Defence College to be established in Jinja, will be a premier institute of excellence on defence, security and national development and will provide strategic leadership to the Government on national and international security matters. The NDC steering committee chaired by Maj Gen Nakibus Lakara is charged with establishing the Uganda – NDC by 2019.
“UPDF has made many strides in training but we have been missing a flagship institution that provides professional joint military education at Strategic level,” Gen.Muhoozi observed.
He said that in order to manage complexity, uncertainty changes and surprise in the contemporary security environment, there is always urgent need to develop institutions like NDC for strategic level training.
Gen Muhoozi was delighted by the fact that a number of UPDF senior officers have the knowledge, experience and background information having attended NDC in other countries like Kenya, UK China etc. He however stressed that UPDF has to craft an NDC that is awake with Uganda’s context and environment in order to achieve Uganda’s desired end state. He told the steering committee to derive the college’s enduring theme around Security, Stability and Prosperity.
The CDF also said that the joint set up of UPDF within and across government could well be practiced if UPDF takes on strategic security studies at the level of NDC where UPDF interfaces with senior level leaders from other government agencies and partners. This offers an opportunity to realize the linkage between strategic and operational level learning. Such strategic level of education would also help security planners to formulate policies and understand the security complexes including those that arise from international behaviors of other states and players in order to determine the appropriate responses. NDC will help prepare civilians, military, national security professionals and future leaders to understand the broader strategic security environment and manage the complexities at a strategic level.
He said within the security domain, UPDF has to lend a hand to police when dealing with diplomacy, public order management and media issues. “UPDF and civilian leaders need to craft responses that are effective, credible and promote a Nations Security”
The D/CDF Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi said that with the launching of the steering committee, it should effectively start working out the initial phase of construction, drafting a college curriculum etc. He told the committee to take on a bench marking trip to an already established NDC with a view of acquainting themselves with how the college can be run.
Maj Gen Lakara said that most of the work has already been done and sub committees are already functioning. He said a work plan to guide the subsequent committee meetings will be drafted to guide them in steering their work.