Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, General officers, officers and service members salute as the reveille is played.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo led the Kenya Defence Forces in marking the sixth Kenya Defence Forces Day at a colourful ceremony held at the Isiolo Barracks on Saturday, 14th October 2017.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo unveils the monument in commemoration of the fallen heroes.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Omamo expressed her honour in being part of a crucial day in the military calendar, terming it as a time when the military immortalizes the sacrifices and efforts of soldiers who gave their lives for the sake of the country’s peace, liberty and stability. She challenged KDF personnel to always remember that they are a family, who should keep reaching out to each other in order to continue executing duties effectively.
The CS promised the ministry’s continued support in ensuring KDF’s capability continues to improve and expand and ease the war against the enemy. She also appreciated the efforts made by the forces in enhancing psychological care and support for soldiers citing it as fundamental in the mental uprightness of personnel. “I thank the Chief of Defence Forces for introducing welfare Officers in all our units, which will go a long way in ensuring maximum counseling support for our soldiers involved in battle,” she said.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo goes through the names of the fallen heroes inscribed in the monument. Looking on is the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe.
The Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe who spoke at the same venue stressed on the paramount necessity of the core values of being apolitical, the civil prerogative, loyalty and commitment, patriotism, professionalism and integrity for KDF personnel.”These crucial core values remain, and should always be the fundamental drivers of our courage and strength,” he said. He stressed the importance of soldiers being apolitical, particularly at this moment when the country’s political situation was complex.
The CDF cited the irreplaceable gap left by fallen soldiers as a reminder to all of the heavy cost of freedom, noting that KDF personnel would be expected to continue sacrificing their all, both on deployment and within the units.”It is undeniable that since our entry into Somalia, Kenya’s and the region’s stability has greatly improved and terror activities have gone down. Continue giving your best, we are with you,” he encouraged the soldiers.
The CDF also thanked the Commander In Chief, President Uhuru Kenyatta for His guidance, his great support to AMISOM, and for the help in establishment of a rehabilitation centre in Langata, Nairobi. He also thanked parliament, the media and the Kenyan population for their unending support to the forces.
Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe Inspects the guard of honor mounted by 3rd Kenya Rifles Battalion soldiers.
Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi praised the strides that the country had made in fighting terrorism, noting that KDF had greatly contributed to the achievement of this. He also stressed on the great role the military had been bestowed upon in aiding the civil authorities, highlighting the large number of activities KDF had been involved in. He cited in particular the recent involvement of KDF in distribution of thousands of gallons of water and relief food to drought stricken parts of Northern Kenya, the support of medical services to Baringo and other counties that faced Malaria outbreak, the continuing free medical camps and construction of infrastructure around Isiolo county, and last year’s relief to earthquake stricken Tanzania.
Lieutenant General Kibochi thanked Kenyan troops for their zeal in reducing Al Shabaab strength, noting that Kenyans will forever be grateful for their sacrifice. He also took the opportunity to recognize Officers and Service Men who had made outstanding performances both on the battlefront and in other military duties. The Cabinet Secretary, CDF and Kenya Army Commander presented these individuals with certificates of recognition and mementos for their remarkable work. They included Major J Mwakio from 9th Battalion Kenya Rifles and 21st Battalion Kenya Rifles who displayed exemplary zeal in fighting the enemy as OC B Company at Taraka Somalia, Lieutenant Vincent Manyasa from 40 Ranger Battalion who after his troops were ambushed, fought on until he collapsed, Senior Sergeant Gideon Koskei, a Kenya Navy nutritionist at Manda Bay who was instrumental in the award of Kenya Navy as Best in clinical practice in the continuous quality improvement of healthcare for 2016-2017, Sergeant J K Magut, successful athlete and Kenya Navy driver, Corporal J Jepkosgei, athlete and KDF sports ambassador, who holds several World records in road races, Corporal Hellen Obiri; the Olympics Silver medalist and 5000 metres World Champion and Senior Private Alphonso Lemuya of 7th Battalion Kenya Rifles, who after he and his colleagues were involved in an IED attack at Abdi Birolle, Somalia, jumped off the vehicle and suppressed the enemy, despite obtaining injuries that led to his leg’s amputation.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo lays wreath at the monument.
The chief host of the event and Commander Armoured Brigade Brigadier Muthuri Kiugu thanked the KDF and ministry leadership for selecting Isiolo Barracks to hold the event. He cited the theme of this year’s event as an assurance to the nation that KDF would continue to focus on capabilities that can meet contemporary and future threats and challenges. He described Armour as the “Epitome of offensive spirit”, mentioning that they would always be ready to support Kenya Army missions as ordered. He also appreciated the Defence Headquarters for their efforts in ensuring the event was successful.
Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe lays wreath at the monument.
The sixth KDF Day celebrations had several activities that included unveiling of the monument of remembrance of the fallen by the Cabinet Secretary and the laying of wreaths, display by various KDF formations and departments, and an arena entertainment and demonstration session which presented rare attractions like the Free Fall from the Ranger Regiment, Joint Helicopter Command fly by, Ranger Tactical Maneuver, Kenya Army Combative display and the 105 Artillery Gun action. The guests were also entertained by dances from local communities, musicals from local schools among others.
Mrs Bernice Njoroge wife to the late Lance Corporal Willie Njoroge representing the families of the fallen heroes lays wreath.
This year’s theme was “Progressively Building Robust Capability in Defence of the Nation.” KDF day is commemorated annually across all military establishments, to honour all those who have fallen in pursuit of peace within the country and the region. It is celebrated on 14th October, the day when Kenyan troops began ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ back in 2011. This year’s event was held for the first time at Isiolo Barracks, the home of the Armoured Brigade, 78 Tank Battalion, School of Armour, 86 Armoured Recce Batallion and Isiolo Barracks Primary and Secondary schools.
Others that attended the celebrations included Principal Secretary Ministry of Defence Mr. Saitoti Torome, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Joseph Kasaon, Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Samuel Thuita, Commander Kenya Navy Major General Levi Mghalu, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces Operations, Training and Doctrine Major General Adan Mulata, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces Personnel and Logistics Major General Samuel Nandwa, Commandant Defence Staff College Major General Ngewa Mukala, Retired Generals, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Defence Attachés, Senior Officers, Officers, Service Men and their families among other guests.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo signs a visitors’ book at the Public Affairs stand. Looking on is Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe.
Senior Sergeant Obadia Midibe of Ranger Regiment carrying the Kenya Defence Forces flag.
Free faller Senior Sergeant John Njoroge of Ranger Regiment carrying National Jumbo flag.
Kenya Army Combative team displays their skills during the celebrations.
Meru traditional dancers perform a cultural dance during the celebrations.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Amb. Raychelle Omamo plants a commemoration tree at Isiolo Barracks officers mess.
Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe waters a commemoration tree he planted at the officers mess Isiolo Barracks.