US delivers last choppers to Kenya Air Force

Thursday July 20 2017

The last two of eight Bell Huey II helicopters that were delivered by the US on July 19, 2017 to the Kenya Air Force.

The last two of eight Bell Huey II helicopters that were delivered by the US on July 19, 2017 to the Kenya Air Force. The helicopters have an exceptional capacity to operate in hot and high-elevation environments. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By FRED MUKINDA
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The US on Wednesday delivered two additional helicopters to the Kenya Air Force, fulfilling a promise to help strengthen the military in the war against Al-Shabaab.

Six similar choppers were delivered on December 2, 2016, and are being used to deploy rapid response units to and from the battle field in Somalia.

The entire fleet of helicopters – Bell Huey II – cost Sh11.5 billion ($11.5 million).

“They will bolster the KDF’s capacity to combat Al-Shabaab, an effort that will bring more stability and peace to East Africa,” said the US embassy in Nairobi.

Exceptional capacity

The embassy said the helicopters have an exceptional capacity to operate in hot and high-elevation environments, while being rugged enough to endure extended operations with minimal maintenance.

“Our military cooperation with Kenya is one of the deepest and most important security relationships for the US in all of Africa.

We work to build our mutual security and peace throughout the region so that both of our countries are safer and more secure,” said US ambassador Robert Godec.

The choppers will also be used for delivering emergency supplies and evacuating troops from danger zones.