After three months of training, US Air Force Combat Aviation Advisors assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command Africa and Kenyan Air Force (KAF) partners completed a successful culmination exercise showcasing the wide range of capabilities the recently-acquired C-145 Combat Coyote will add to the KAF fleet.
The engagement involved a fully-trained flying crew including pilots, loadmasters, riggers and mechanics, gaining proficiency in operating and maintaining the C-145. The culmination of the training featured an exercise to include airdrop, medical evacuation, and short take-off and landing practice, US Special Operations Command Africa said on 7 June.
“It is important for the US and Kenyan military to work together. We are able to do more, because we are basically acquiring the best skills from the training and our combined exercises,” Kenyan Defence Forces Major Francis Mutisya, C-145 pilot, said.
The aircraft, as part of security cooperation efforts between the US and Kenya, reached the Kenyan Defence Forces in September 2020 through the Excess Defence Articles programme. Three aircraft were supplied to Kenya and commissioned in April this year.
“It has been interesting working with our counterparts. We can learn a lot from people, and we can also better our forces. The C-145 is a more tactical aircraft, so for me it has been different, the sharing of the knowledge, the direction, has been awesome,” said Corporal Mercy Kendi, aircraft technician.
“Really it’s a symbiotic relationship. We need the Kenyan Defence Forces, just as much as they need us. What we bring is the train, advise and assist mission, and we advise the KDF on how to tactically employ sustainable operations. This is their home turf, they know it best. They show us how to take what we bring and use it in this environment,” said a US Air Forces Special Operations Command combat aviation advisor.