• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:03 PM
  • Nairobi

Manda Bay airfield set for expansion in new Kenya-US deal

Manda Bay airfield set for expansion in new Kenya-US deal

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

Kenya’s security docket is the biggest beneficiary oif the ongoing three-day State Visit by President William Ruto to the United States of America.

Kenya and the US enjoy a close military tie and Ruto’s visit is set to strengthen it even further.

On Thursday night, Defense Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale announced the signing of an agreement with the US that will see the Manda Bay airfield at the coast region expanded.

The airfield is located near the Somalia border.

The Manda Bay Airfield is part of a Kenyan Defence Forces military base utilized by U.S. armed forces to provide training and counterterrorism support to East African partners, respond to crises, and protect U.S. interests in the region.

In an update on his verified social media pages, the CS noted that the latest agreement will boost ongoing anti-terrorism efforts which have the blessings of the US.

“Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, to enhance security measures and joint military operations,” Duale said in part of the post.

“The agreement, which includes an infrastructural expansion and upgrade of Manda Bay airfield, near the Somalia border, will support counter-terrorism efforts, improve operational capabilities, and accommodate larger aircraft, enhancing the mobility and flexibility of security forces,” he added.

The CS further noted that the latest development follows Kenya’s request and the commitment of the U.S. government to fund the construction, highlighting the strong partnership the two countries have in combating terrorism and promoting global peace.

Aside from the improvement of the Manda Bay airfield, the US also announced that it will donate 16 helicopters to boost Kenya’s security operations and peacekeeping missions.

The donation 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.

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