Special Reports

Special Forces: Our Military Training is not for the Fainthearted

A Ugandan Special Forces Operator demonstrates skills at a recent function in Entebbe (Photo: ChimpReports)

Reports that a Special Forces trainee, thumb http://citizenspace.us/wp-includes/class.wp-styles.php Juma Muhindo sustained grave injuries during intense Commando training at the School of Paratroopers in Nakasongola, more about have opened the lid on the intensity and life-threatening requirements of the military programme.

Muhindo told the media he was punched by a Special Forces training instructor before landing his back on a stone that damaged his spinal cord.

He is currently receiving treatment at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala.

Being a secretive outfit, decease the Special Forces Command’s (SFC) operations and training manuals remain classified.

On Tuesday, ChimpReports spoke to SFC spokesperson Maj Chris Magezi to shed more light on what soldiers go through during Commando training.

“Special operations training is one of the toughest and most demanding things you can be asked to do in the whole world,” said Magezi.

Therefore, he explained, the attrition rate is high due to the intensity of the training.

“At least 100 people who go for training, only 30-35 of them complete the training. We have a high dropout rate because of the huge demands of the exercise,” Magezi elaborated.

SFC is a specialized component of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) tasked with carrying out specialized missions or operations at a moment’s notice.

The SFC while conducting its operations coordinates closely with the two main arms or services of the UPDF, that is, the Land Forces and the Air Forces.

The SFC’s main headquarters are found in Entebbe, Wakiso District, but also has sub-units stationed in different parts of the country.

SFC units working alongside the regular UPDF are also active in theatres of operations, such as South-Sudan and the Peace Keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

It’s operations include counter terrorism, rescue missions, protecting the head of state and espionage.

It is because of SFC’s mandate that Operators undertake heavy military training exercises, according to Magezi.

“SFC is not for the fainthearted. It’s neither an agricultural training nor a picnic in the park. It involves exercises that stretch trainees physically and emotionally,” he added.

Muhindo

Asked to explain Muhindo’s saga, Magezi said, “The soldier in question failed to cope up with the physical and emotional requirements of the course.”

He added: “Preliminary investigations also indicate that he was medically unfit to continue with the programme; so he fell out.”

On his part, Muhindo told Daily Monitor that the SFC instructor George Alitema gripped the neck of one of the trainees for 30 seconds before attempting to punch another who shielded himself with a rifle.

Alitema then turned to Muhindo and punched him in the chest.

The blow hurled Muhindo to the ground where he landed back first on a stone.

The soldier injured his spinal cord and suffered an erectile dysfunction.

Magezi said UPDF Special Forces has “Some of the best military instructors,” adding, “They have no malice.”

The Command’s spokesperson further stated that the “demands are always tough; only the best of the best emerge victorious.”

Pressed to explain why the instructors landed such a heavy and life-threatening punch on Muhindo’s chest, Magezi responded: “In the Special Forces, you are trained at tactical level to fight as a unit or team or as individual. In some operations, you are required to engage an adversary in close combat  (combat without arms) which includes boxing, use of knives and sticks.”

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