Kenya to receive 16 helicopters, 150 armored vehicles from US


• The aircraft are expected to arrive in Nairobi between late 2024 and 2025, the White House said.

President William Ruto, Mama Rachel Ruto, President Joe Biden and Jill Biden

Kenya is set to receive 16 US-manufactured helicopters to boost the country’s security operations and peacekeeping missions.

This is part of the goodies advanced to Kenya by President Joe Biden's administration following the State visit by President William Ruto to Washington.

White House said on Thursday, 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 said.

Kenya will also 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.

In a bid to fortify collaboration on counterterrorism, the two nations have pledged to deepen their information-sharing efforts.

Kenya is also in the process of joining Operation Gallant Phoenix, a program facilitating multinational cooperation in sharing terrorist-related information.

"Additionally, Kenya is in the process of joining Operation Gallant Phoenix, a program that advances multinational collaboration and sharing of terrorist information to build mutual capacity to collect and use battlefield evidence in civilian criminal justice proceedings in a multiagency, multinational setting.  These initiatives should help both countries better protect our borders and our citizens from terrorist actors."

As part of deepening a legacy of military training and capacity building between the two countries, in the summer of 2024, for the first time, the Kenya Defence Forces will have candidates starting courses at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

This will go a long way in building on a long tradition of the majority of Kenyan general officers benefitting from U.S. International Military Education Training courses.

"The U.S. military currently has seven advisors in Kenya supporting Kenyan aviators and for the first time, the United States is providing a Strategic Logistics Advisor to Kenya’s Ministry of Defence," said the White House.

White House said building on a longstanding partnership to further police capacity building and reform efforts, the United States and Kenya announced a new $7 million partnership to advance and strengthen the modernization and professionalization of Kenya’s National Police Service, with a focus on staff and training development.

It added the United States and Kenya are committed to further advancing Kenyan-led efforts to improve the oversight of and conditions within Kenya’s prison service. 

The United States announced a new $2.2 million initiative to provide training, mentoring, and technical assistance to implement priority reforms.

In combatting Transnational Organized Crime and Supporting Criminal Justice Sector Reform the statement said recognizing the regional role Kenya plays in combating transnational organized crime, the United States intends to provide $4.9 million in new funding for Kenya and other East African countries to improve cooperation and coordination in combating criminal networks and holding criminals accountable. 

“Funding also supports capacity building and reform efforts within the Kenyan police and justice sectors.”

The United States also seeks to amplify Kenya’s leadership in building Africa’s digital resilience by supporting linkages between well-known international investigative organizations and select Kenyan NGOs, media outlets, and citizen journalists to build up Nairobi as a regional hub for exposing issues in the public interest. 

This support also helps journalists in their pursuit of public information, the White House said.

“Pursuing these efforts in Kenya – a regional media and technology leader – positively impacts East Africa and the broader continent, particularly as Kenyan recipients connect with counterparts in the region."

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