The mountain, future pillar of Ugandan Defence
While a new mountain warfare expertise mission is getting prepared and will start on March 28th, 2017, the reconnaissance of Margherita Peak by the major in charge of the mission is a new step in the development of a Ugandan strategic know-how. As Vauban wrote in his book: “Who holds the ups holds the downs”!
The mountain expertise is part of the military cooperation between France and Uganda that has been strengthening for several years. The strategic issue of Rwenzori encouraged the Ugandan military to call upon the French expertise whose mountain troops are well-known and recognized all around the world. After a first expertise mission that has hosted French instructors on November 2016, the First Alpine Brigade, located in Fort-Portal, will be pleased to receive a new bench of “Chasseurs Alpins” for a one-month training.
In order to well prepare this mission, the major in charge carried out a reconnaissance mission on Margherita Peak which culminates at 5119m. This professional commissioned officer, former Internships Director at the High Mountains French Military Academy, did easily climb the third highest peak in Africa and the highest in Uganda. He shared his experience with us: “Such a reconnaissance mission is crucial for me to guide the expertise mission we are about to host. It enables me to see the mountain the way it really is, the most difficult portions, the ones that demand very particular technical skills”.
France is aiming at accompanying Uganda in the development of its mountain expertise since the two countries share this geographical specificity. France and Uganda are expecting to improve their own militaries thanks to regular exchanges between each other. A specialized training centre might be created at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, and it is supposed to become the centre of reference for the region. After the next mountain expertise, a new Operation Training Detachment, from Djibouti and composed of French mountain troops, will join the Ugandan troops in order to offer them a new training in mountain tactics.