KDF reaps big as Duale strikes new deal with US

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 24 May, 2024 07:58 | 3 mins read
Officers from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) conducting a security drill in DRC on Thursday May 23, 2024. PHOTO/ @kdfinfo/X.
Officers from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) conducting a security drill in DRC on Thursday May 23, 2024. PHOTO/ @kdfinfo/X.

The Kenya Defences Forces (KDF) has bagged lucrative deals following President William Ruto's State Visit to the US.

Duale, who accompanied Ruto to the historic visit, signed key deals with President Joe Biden's administration.

In a statement on Thursday, May 23, 2024, the US committed to upgrading the Manda Bay airfield located near the Somalia border.

According to the deal, the Manda Bay airfield will be expanded to handle large aircraft and enhance flexible mobility for both KDF and US soldiers.

Defence CS Aden Duale with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee holding the agreement document. PHOTO/ @HonAdenDuale/X.

The expansion of the airfield will bolster Kenya's efforts in combating terrorism meted out by Al Shabaab militants.

"Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, to enhance security measures and joint military operations," Duale stated.

"The agreement, which includes an infrastructural expansion and upgrade of Manda Bay airfield, near the Somalia border, will support counter-terrorism efforts, improve operational capabilities, and accommodate larger aircraft, enhancing the mobility and flexibility of security forces," he added.

The approval of the expansion deal follows a request from Kenya and the push to deepen the military partnership between the two nations.

"This development follows Kenya's request and the commitment of the U.S. government to fund the construction, highlighting the strong partnership the two countries have in combating terrorism and promoting global peace," Duale added.

16 helicopters

KDF chopper crashes during take-off in Wajir
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) chopper that crashed while taking off in Wajir on Monday, November 20, 2023. PHOTO/Abuga Makori(@abuga_makori)/x.

This is part of the package that President William Ruto's administration bagged for his State Visit.

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, the White House announced that Kenya is set to receive 16 helicopters for a peacekeeping mission. In a statement, the White House stated that the 16 helicopters include eight Hueys to bolster regional peace and security as well as eight MD-500s for enhancing Kenya's participation in peacekeeping missions.

The aircraft are expected to arrive in Nairobi between late 2024 and 2025, the White House made it clear.

"Kenya is scheduled to receive 16 U.S.-manufactured helicopters between late 2024 and summer 2025 to bolster its ability to provide regional peace and security (8 Hueys) and participate in peacekeeping missions (8 MD-500s), "the White House announced.

KDF soldiers conducting a drill in DRC. PHOTO/ @kdfinfo/ X.
KDF soldiers conducting a drill in DRC. PHOTO/ @kdfinfo/ X.

Moreover, the country will receive approximately 150 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles from the U.S. Excess Defense Article stocks which are projected to arrive in Kenya in September 2024.

"The United States welcomes Kenya’s hosting of and participation in some of the largest U.S. military exercises in Africa, including Exercise JUSTIFIED ACCORD – the second-largest U.S. military exercise in Africa – and Exercise CUTLASS EXPRESS, which focuses on building interoperability amongst multinational partners in the maritime environment."

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