President Yoweri Museveni extended a vote of thanks to the men and officers of the Uganda Airforce Wing for their exemplary performance in neutralizing the ADF during Operation Shujaa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The lion lives in the jungle, not on the roads, the road lion is for the zoo. Our Airforce can do many things easily. This is a capacity we should enhance,” President Museveni, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), said while addressing the Airforce.
“You have done a good job in operation Shujaa; Aircrafts hit targets quickly, accurately, in surprise attacks and quite devastating, The artillery and infantry were all doing great. Let me take this opportunity to thank you and to encourage you all,” he said.
Museveni was meeting a contingent of the Uganda Air Force Wing that recently participated in Operation Shujaa at Entebbe Air Base.
This is the first of a series of meetings that the President will hold with the forces to appraise himself on progress of the Operation.
“Defense has two sides, Offensive and Defensive. We have both capabilities. Be very sure that you are on standby duty 24 hours to ensure the shield (Defence) is in place all the time and the spear (offensive) is ready when required,” Museveni said.
Operation Shujaa, which is being conducted jointly by UPDF and the DRC army made huge achievements in dislodging ADF rebels from their camps in the DRC, leaving some of them scattered and on the run in the mountains.
Museveni congratulated the leadership of the Air Force upon the building up of the Force observing that in 1986 the army had to start anew by recruiting new soldiers into the force.
He was glad to note that the force now has a nucleus that he recommended be expanded.
“I think we now have a good nucleus which you should expand quickly to fill the gaps. I came to thank you, check on what you have and what is happening as well as to encourage you,” he said.
President Museveni pledged to address concerns raised by the leadership of the Uganda Airforce including upgrading the Nakasongola Airforce Base and procurement of aircraft parts.
The CDF General Wilson Mbadi commended the Commander in Chief for interacting with the forces, especially those that participated in Operation Shuja.
“The Airforce played a big role in Operation Shuja, bombing bases of the enemy and softening the ground, that helped in the delivery of supplies and troops in isolated areas. This, coupled with air defense, intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance, battle assessment and combing the Rwenzoris to pursue remnants of ADF so that we don’t leave any enemy behind us to cause havoc when we go ahead,” he said.
Gen. Mbadi said the great range of the Air Force assets made it possible to strike bases where the ADF had camped for years, freezing their actions and dispersing them.