KAMPALA - Uganda is set to host a joint field military training exercise code named ‘Natural Fire 10’ (NF10) which will bring together forces from all the five partner states of the East African Community (EAC).
The exercise will run from October 16 to 25.
According to Uganda’s Minister for EAC, Eriya Kategaya, the exercise is aimed at improving cooperation in defence within the EAC partner states and will take place in Kitgum district, northern Uganda.
The joint field training in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, is being planned jointly by the United States African Command (AFRICOM) and the EAC Partner States’ forces.
According to Kategaya, the sole aim of this exercise is to improve on security and disaster preparedness.
It will also enhance EAC military cooperation by testing and refining multinational command and control systems within the partner states and the US.
“This process will deepen the levels and widen the areas of cooperation in defence in the EAC partner states,” Kategaya told The New Times.
EAC Deputy Secretary General, Beatrice Kiraso noted that the exercise lays down four areas of cooperation that include; military training, joint operations, technical assistance, and social interactions between the forces.
“EAC partner states agreed in Article 125 to closely cooperate in defence affairs and to establish a framework for this cooperation,” said Kiraso who is in charge of political federation at the secretariat.
The exercise is held after two years. It was first held in 1998 as a bilateral exercise between the US and Kenya and reconfigured in 1999 as a multilateral exercise between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the founder members of the EAC.