The Cabinet Secretary for Defence Ambassador Raychell Omamo on 14 of September, graced over the occasion for receiving and commissioning of helicopters from the United Arab Emirates at Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki.
Speaking during the colourful event, the CS expressed her gratitude for the opportunity given by the Government of Kenya to receive the helicopters and the assorted spares that have come from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan the President of the United Arab Emirates.
“Indeed, this comes at much needed time when our country is engaged in multi-fronts in pursuit of peace and security along our borders and in the region. The resources required in security operations are often many and can be very expensive. To this end the Government of the Republic of Kenya acknowledges with appreciation this kind of gesture by His Highness.” the Cabinet Secretary said.
She further added that, the utility of the helicopters is not only limited to support the security operations but are equally suited for combat search and rescue, casualty and medical evacuations. They are also capable for combat air escort for heavy lift helicopters.
The CS assured His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa that the helicopters will certainly be put to good use and they will make a difference in Kenya’s capabilities.
“The cooperation between the two countries and indeed the Kenya Defence Forces, recognizes the fact that peace and security cannot be achieved and maintained by a single country or military. It is through cooperation and sharing of resources and information that war on terror and other vices that fuel insecurity can be won,” the CS said.
Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Francis Ogolla acknowledged the opportunity given to Kenya Air Force to receive the helicopters given by the United Arab Emirates.
“The helicopters have come such a time when we mostly needed them in our operations both in our country and beyond,” Major General Ogolla said.
Present during the event were United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Kenya Khalid Khalifa Abdullah Rashid Al Mu’alla, Base Commander Laikipia Air Base Brigadier John Omenda, Joint Aviation Command United Arab Emirates Colonel Jamal Alhababi, other Senior officers, officers and service members.