Uganda People's Defence Force

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The Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF), previously the National Resistance Army, is the armed forces of Uganda.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates the UPDF has a total strength of 40–45,000, and consists of land forces and an Air Wing.[2]

The IISS Military Balance 2007 says there are 1,800 paramilitary personnel also, which include the Marines—Uganda's naval force—with 400 personnel, and eight riverine patrol craft, all of less than 100 tonnes. There is also a 800-strong Uganda Police Force Air Wing with one Bell JetRanger, and a 600-strong Border Defence Unit equipped only with small arms.



The origins of the present Ugandan armed forces can be traced back to 1902, when the Uganda Battalion of the King's African Rifles was formed. On 9 October 1962 Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom, with 4th Battalion, King's African Rifles becoming the Uganda Rifles.[3] On 23 January 1964 1st Battalion, Uganda Rifles, plus the embryonic 2nd Battalion mutinied, seizing its British officers. Following an invitation from President Milton Obote, British forces from Kenya (elements of the 24th Infantry Brigade) intervened later the same day, and two days later brought the mutiny to an end.

In 1970, the International Institute for Strategic Studies assessed the Ugandan armed forces to consist of 6,700 personnel, comprising an Army of 6,250 with two brigade groups, each of two battalions, plus an independent infantry battalion, with some Ferret armoured cars, and BTR-40 and BTR-152 armoured personnel carriers, plus an air arm of 450 with 12 Fouga Magister armed jet trainers, and seven MiG-15s and MiG-17s.[4] In 1979, before the Uganda-Tanzania War, the Ugandan armed forces were reported, by the IISS, as comprising of 20,000 land forces personnel, with two four-battalion brigades and five other battalions of various types, plus a training regiment.[5] There were a total of 35 T-34, T-55, and M-4 Sherman medium tanks. An air arm was 1,000 strong with 21 MiG-21 and 10 MiG-17 combat aircraft. The IISS noted that the Ugandan armed forces collapsed in the face of the Tanzanian onslaught and the serviceable aircraft were removed to Tanzania.

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