The United States government has given six new helicopters to the Kenya Defence Forces – KDF – to shore up the campaign against Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Two other choppers are expected to be delivered in May 2017.
Kenya’s Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo received the Huey II helicopters at the Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki Wednesday morning.
“They will play a significant role in complex operations by our forces, especially in the Somalia theatre. It is an exceptional force multiplier for KDF,” she said.
The grant, valued at $106 million (Sh11 billion), is part of the assistance pledged by President Obama to boost security in the region.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said it is the single largest donation to a foreign country in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This is will help in our joint efforts to fight Al-Shabaab. The US will remain a steadfast partner in fighting terrorism and radicalisation,” he said.
Beside combat operations, the helicopters will also be used for search and rescue missions.