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Is the state visit to US by President William Ruto paying off? US Gifts Kenya 16 Refurbished Aircraft, Including 8 Huey Helicopters


US Gifts Kenya 16 Refurbished Aircraft, Including 8 Huey Helicopters


In a significant boost to Kenya’s defense capabilities, the United States has gifted Kenya 16 refurbished aircraft, including 8 Huey helicopters. This generous donation underscores the deepening military cooperation between the two nations and is expected to enhance Kenya’s operational capacity in various security and humanitarian missions.


The handover ceremony, held at the Moi Air Base in Nairobi, was attended by senior officials from both countries. Speaking at the event, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman highlighted the strategic partnership between Kenya and the United States. “This gift symbolizes our unwavering commitment to Kenya’s security and regional stability. These aircraft will support Kenya’s efforts in combating terrorism, conducting search and rescue operations, and providing humanitarian aid,” she said.


Kenya’s Defense Cabinet Secretary, Aden Duale, expressed gratitude for the donation, emphasizing its importance for the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF). “We are deeply appreciative of this generous gesture from our American allies. The addition of these aircraft to our fleet will significantly enhance our operational readiness and capability. It reflects the strong ties and mutual trust between our two nations,” Duale stated.


The refurbished aircraft include eight Huey helicopters, known for their versatility and reliability in various military operations. These helicopters have been upgraded to meet modern standards and are equipped with advanced navigation and communication systems. The remaining aircraft include a mix of transport and reconnaissance planes, which will further strengthen the KDF’s operational range and efficiency.


Major General Francis Ogolla, the Vice Chief of the Defence Forces, elaborated on the operational impact of the new aircraft. “The Huey helicopters will be particularly valuable in our anti-terrorism efforts in regions such as Lamu and Garissa, where rapid response and mobility are crucial. The transport and reconnaissance planes will improve our logistical capabilities and intelligence gathering,” Ogolla noted.


The United States has been a longstanding partner in supporting Kenya’s security initiatives, providing training, equipment, and intelligence sharing. This latest donation is part of a broader strategy to bolster the capabilities of allied nations in maintaining regional stability and combating emerging threats. The Huey helicopters, in particular, have a storied history of reliability in challenging environments, making them a valuable addition to Kenya’s air fleet.


As the aircraft were formally handed over, Ambassador Whitman reiterated the United States’ commitment to working closely with Kenya. “Our partnership with Kenya is grounded in shared values and mutual interests. We look forward to continued collaboration in various areas, including security, health, and economic development. Together, we are stronger and more capable of addressing the challenges that face our world today,” she concluded.

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