Fuelling Insecurity? Kenya To Receive 16 Helicopters, 150 Armoured Vehicles From US After Ruto’s State Visit

Fuelling Insecurity? Kenya To Receive 16 Helicopters, 150 Armoured Vehicles From US After Ruto’s State Visit

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Kenya is set to receive 16 U.S.-manufactured helicopters to boost the country’s security operations and peacekeeping missions.

This is part of the goodies advanced to Kenya by President Joe Biden’s administration following the State visit by President William Ruto to Washington.

According to a statement released by the White House on Thursday, 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.


The aircraft are expected to arrive in Nairobi between late 2024 and 2025, according to the White House.

Kenya will also receive approximately 150 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles from the U.S. Excess Defense Article stocks which are projected to arrive in Kenya in September 2024.


In a bid to fortify collaboration on counterterrorism, the two nations have pledged to deepen their information-sharing efforts. Kenya is also in the process of joining Operation Gallant Phoenix, a program facilitating multinational cooperation in sharing terrorist-related information.

“Additionally, Kenya is in the process of joining Operation Gallant Phoenix, a program that advances multinational collaboration and sharing of terrorist information to build mutual capacity to collect and use battlefield evidence in civilian criminal justice proceedings in a multiagency, multinational setting.  These initiatives should help both countries better protect our borders and our citizens from terrorist actors.”

As part of deepening a legacy of military training and capacity building between the two countries, in the summer of 2024, for the first time, the Kenya Defence Forces will have candidates starting courses at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.


This, according to the White House, will go a long way in building on a long tradition of the majority of Kenyan general officers benefitting from U.S. International Military Education Training courses.

“The U.S. military currently has seven advisors in Kenya supporting Kenyan aviators and for the first time, the United States is providing a Strategic Logistics Advisor to Kenya’s Ministry of Defence,” said the White House.

Meanwhile, Biden said that he would designate Kenya as the first major non-NATO U.S. ally in sub-Saharan Africa, as he welcomed Ruto for the first state visit to the U.S. by an African leader in nearly 16 years.

The significant strategic move signals the shifting of U.S. security cooperation to East Africa just as U.S. troops prepare to depart Niger, leaving a vacuum that Russian forces have begun to fill.

The designation gives non-members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization access to military and financial advantages that NATO members enjoy, but without the mutual defence agreement that holds NATO together.

A senior administration official told reporters late Wednesday that Biden would inform Congress of the designation, which takes 30 days to take effect.

Biden, during a day full of meetings with Ruto – capped with a glitzy, 500-guest state dinner attended by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – said this new designation is a result of the close collaboration between the two nations on fighting terrorism in the volatile Horn of Africa.

“That’s a fulfilment of years of collaboration on joint counterterrorism operations that degraded ISIS and al-Shabab across East Africa, our mutual support for Ukraine and rallying the world to stand behind the U.N. Charter, and our work together on Haiti is helping pave the way to reduce instability and insecurity,” Biden said.

Washington also made millions of dollars of commitments toward a number of efforts the U.S. sees as key to development. Those include areas like democracy, health, education, arts and culture, climate management, trade, technology and the one item Ruto said was his main priority on his four-day swing through the United States: work to restructure African nations’ crippling debt to the world’s largest creditor, China.

But the lengthy list of American pledges was absent the roads, bridges and railroad projects that African leaders have long said they need to keep up with their exploding populations. For those, they turn to China’s sprawling Belt and Road Initiative, which counts the African continent as the largest beneficiary of its massive, $1 trillion global project.

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