One of the six Huey Helicopters handed over by the USA Government to the Kenya Defence Forces at Laikipia Air Base.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Ambassador Raychelle Omamo on Friday 2nd December 2016 received six Bell Huey II helicopters from the American government, in a ceremony held at the Laikipia Air Base Nanyuki.
Speaking after receiving the helicopters from the US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, Ambassador Omamo described the grant as a timely and one that will not only boost all round Kenya military performance capability, but also help in combat search, assault and evacuation, particularly this time Kenya Defence Forces are largely involved in operations aimed at stabilizing the region.
“This is a show of commitment between Kenya and US in partnering together to eliminate the threat of terrorism. I express my gratitude to the United States, particularly the US ambassador Robert Godec, for the zeal he had shown in ensuring the two countries continue to work hand in hand”, she said.
She challenged the crew that will be handling the choppers to exercise responsibility, describing them as a gem to the Kenya Defence Forces.
US ambassador Robert Godec thanked all Kenya Defence Forces soldiers for their dedication towards ensuring stability in the region, highlighting that the current US-Kenya partnership was one of the most significant in the entire African continent since its inception in 2010. He mentioned that the US valued Kenya’s initiatives to strengthen military capability, in the effort to eliminate terror groups like Al Shabaab.
During the ceremony, the guests were taken through the Huey II choppers functionality and later treated to a fly past display led by the Joint Helicopter Command Unit and the Kenya Air Force pilots.
The Bell Huey II helicopter is an upgraded version of the Bell Huey I, known for its performance during the Vietnam War. This grant is part of a Ksh. 11 Billion deal between the US and Kenya, in which two more helicopters are expected in May 2017.
Present during the turn over ceremony included the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, Kenya Army Commander Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi, Kenya Air Force Commander Major General Samuel Thuita, Major General Barre Seguin and Major General Eric Vollmecke from the United States, senior military officers from both Kenya Defence Forces and the US military among other KDF personnel.
Chief of the Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe inspects Guard of Honour.
Kenya Air Force Commander Maj Gen Samuel Thuita gives the opening remarks during the Huey ll Helicopter hand over ceremony at Laikipia Air Base.
KDF Clergy bless one of the eight Huey ll Helicopters during the hand over ceremony at Laikipia Air Base.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo is taken through the operational mechanism of the Huey ll Helicopter at Laikipia Air Base.
KDF Huey ll Helicopter pilot Officers parade before a fly-past display.
Huey ll Helicopters display before the Guests at Laikipia Air Base.
KDF pilot Officers showcase some tactics at Laikipia Air Base.
One of the Huey ll Helicopters at the Laikipia Air Base runway after the display.
USA Amb. Robert Godec congratulates the KDF pilot Officers after the Huey ll Helicopter display.
Defence CS Amb. Raychelle Omamo, CDF Gen Samson Mwathethe, USA Amb. Robert Godec, Senior Military Officers and the pilots in a group photo at Laikipia Air Base.
Defence CS Amb. Raychelle Omamo in a group photo with Lady Officers and NCOs at Laikipia Air Base.