Military of Kenya

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Military of Kenya is the national military force of Kenya.

Military branches: Kenyan Army, Kenyan Navy, Kenya Air Force

The Kenyan military is a professional,force that supports existing civil authorities. Its main mission is defence of the country's borders in a notoriously unstable region. Military commanders resist pressure to become involved in politics, including intervention in tribal clashes. The Police or General Service Unit (GSU) are generally used for politically sensitive missions. The President also holds the Government of Kenya (GOK) defence portfolio as the Commander in Chief of all the Armed Forces.

The Department of Defence (KDOD), like the police, is part of the Office of the President. All but senior military officers are appointed, promoted, and, if necessary, removed by the military's professional personnel system. The President appoints and retires senior military officers. Just under the president, the Minister of State in the Office of the President presides over the Defense Council. The Chief of General Staff heads the nation’s Defence Headquarters. The National Assembly is the deliberative body charged with the right to declare war.

Military manpower - availability:males age 15-49: 8,313,051 (2004 est.) Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 5,150,405 (2004 est.) Military expenditures - dollar figure: $231 million (2003) ($179.2 million (FY01)) Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.8% 1.8% (FY01)


[edit] Organisation

The army's organisation is as follows: 2 armed brigade, 4 infantry brigades, 1 engineer brigade, 1 armoured reconnaissance battalion, 2 artillery battalions, 3 engineer battalions, 1 independent air cavalry battalion, 5 infantry battalions, 1 parachute battalion, air wing with 35 armoured helicopters.

[edit] Defence equipment

The Army has
MBT: 76 x Vickers Mk3;
Recce: 72 x AML-60/-90, 12 x Ferret and 8 x Shorland;
APC: 52 x UR-416 and 1- x Panhard M-3 (in store);
Towed Arty: 48x 105mm., Mortars: 50 x 81mm., and 12 x 120mm.,
ATGW: 40 x Milan, and 14 x Swingfire;
RCL 84mm: 80 x Carl Gustav;
AD Guns 20mm: 50 x TCM-20, and 11 x Oerlikon;
AD Guns 40mm: 13 x L/70.

The Air Force has
15 fighter aircraft (F-5s);
37 attack helicopters (11 x Hughes 500MD with TOW, 8 x Hughes 500ME, and 15 x Hughes 500M);
31 transport fixed wing (7 x DHC-5D, 12 x Y-12 (II), 1 x PA-31, 3 x DHC-8, 1x Fokker 70 (VIP), and 6 x Do-28D-2 (in store);
23 transport helicopters (9 x IAR-330, 3 x SA-330, and 1 x SA 342);
together with 34 training aircraft (12 x Bulldog 103/127, 8 x Hawk Mk 52, 12 x Tucano, and 2 x helicopter Hughes 500D.
The Air Force also has Air-to surface (ASM) AGM65 Maverick TOW, and Air-to -air (AAM) AIM-9 Sidewinder.

Kenya’s Navy has
10 x Missile Craft;
6 x Patrol and Coastal Combatants;
1 x Amphibious Craft; and 5 x Support Vessel.

The General Service Unit’s Air Wing
comprises 7 x Cessna; and
9 x Bell light helicopters.

[edit] Personnel

The Kenyan Armed forces include about 45,000 personnel, including the army (40,000), the navy (1,000), the air force (4,000), and KDOD headquarters staff (200). A number of Kenyan military personnel participate in international peacekeeping operations in war torn countries under the auspices of the United Nations.

In addition to the armed forces, Kenya employs up to 40,000 police and paramilitary personnel. The Kenya Police, which report to the Commissioner of Police in the office of the president, field about 18,000 officers. The General Service Unit (GSU) has around 5,000 paramilitary of which 2000 are Israeli trained and battle hardened Presidential guard. In addition, Administration Police (AP) report to local District Commissioners, who in turn report to the office of the President.A special police unit created to deal with terrorism reports to the CID branch whose commander reports directly to the president

Finally, the National Youth Service (NYS), which is administered by the office of the president, provides some paramilitary training to young job trainees and are about 2000. Other forces include the Kenya Prisons with about 16,000 personnel. Military service is fulfilled by voluntary enlistment, generally for a period of nine years. However due to the present dismal economic situation, annual recruitment of new constables in all the military is not more than 2000 personnel. Kenya's armed forces combat worthiness against an opposing organised military in the field remains untested since independence. The armed forces successfully suppressed some 10 continuous years of cross border raiding by Somalia.

[edit] Military Expenditure

In 1994, military expenditures were $134 million, about 3.9% of the GDP. For the year 1998 /99 military expenditures were about US$ 197 about 1.9% of the GDP. For the fiscal year 2004/2005, the net approved expenditure for the Department of Defence amounted to about US $ 236 million. This was however increased to US$ 306 million in the current fiscal year 2005/2006.

Projected Gross Estimates are however estimated at US $ 269 million and US$ 283 million for the fiscal years 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 respectively. The total expenditures for all the disciplined forces for the current fiscal year 2005/2006 is US$ 573 million with a projected gross estimate of US$ 552 million and US$ 579 million for the years 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 respectively.

[edit] Kenyan National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS)

In 1998, a new act of Parliament in Kenya established the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) to replace the former Directorate of Security Intelligence which was commonly known as the "Special Branch" and which was part of the Kenya Police Department [1]. The NSIS brief, like all other intelligence organisations, is to gather and exploit secret information. It identifies conditions that threaten Kenya's political, economic and social stability. It subsequently develops opportunities and strategies to neutralise such threats.

In May 1999, President Daniel arap Moi appointed retired Brig. Wilson Bonett to head NSIS whose intelligence gathering work includes: internal, external and strategic intelligence. NSIS is divided into seven sections:

  • 1. Administration
  • 2. Information technology
  • 3. Internal intelligence
  • 4. External intelligence
  • 5. Economic affairs
  • 6. Operations
  • 7. National Intelligence Academy

It changed name and relocated from its notorious Nyati House offices to new headquarters on the outskirts of the city, near the Windsor Golf and Country Hotel. As the Director general of NSIS, Retired Brig. Boinet is the principle advisor of the President on matters relating to national security. In April 1999, the Moi government appointed Mrs Pamela Mboya, the former Permanent representative to the Habitat, to head a Committee that was charged with formulating a scheme of service for NSIS officers. Security of tenure given the director of NSIS is designed to protect him from such abuse by members of the governing elite. He has the opportunity to say 'no' to any unlawful or sectarian instructions from his bosses without fear of losing his job.

Officials of the new Intelligence body are:

  • Director of operations,
  • Director of external intelligence,
  • Director of internal intelligence,
  • Director of National Intelligence Academy,
  • Director of administration,
  • Director of economic affairs
  • Director of information technology.

The NSIS is rated as one of the best intelligence outfits in Africa and is also the best funded with considerable assets and budget allocations.

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