Long-serving airforce Chief of Staff Major General James Birungi has been named new commander of elite unit, SFC. He replaces Major Don Nabaasa who has been sent on a course at the National Defence College of China. (PHOTO/File)
KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Maj Gen James Birungi as the commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite unit that protects the head of state, replacing Maj Gen Don Nabaasa.
Maj Gen Birungi leaves his position as Chief of Staff of the Uganda People’s Defence Air Force (UPDAF).
The message was relayed on Tuesday evening. Maj Gen Nabaasa has been sent for training.
Defence and army spokesperson Richard Karemire confirmed the changes.
“It is true Maj Gen Birungi has been appointed SFC Commander. We congratulate him” Brig Karemire said in an interview.
Maj Gen Nabaasa was appointed to head SFC, an elite unit that is responsible for the security of the President of Uganda and special operations in January 2017.
He took over from Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who was appointed Senior Presidential Adviser on military affairs.
Over the years, Nabasa has commanded various units in the UPDF, starting with an Infantry Platoon in 1999, then a tank platoon in 2000, then serving as a brigade operations officer from 2004 until 2005.
He commanded a tank squadron between 2000 and 2007, then as the commanding officer of a battalion from 2008 until 2012 and as commander of a Group, from 2012 until 2016. From 2016 until his assignment to his current position, he served as the Deputy Commander of the Special Forces Command, a division within the UPDF.
In February 2019, he was promoted from the rank of Brigadier to that of Major General, as a part of a promotions exercise involving over 2,000 men and women of the UPDF.