The United States has donated 12 Bastion armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the Kenya Defence Force to help secure its borders and promote peace in the region.
The vehicles were handed over to Deputy Kenya Army Commander Major General Thomas Chepkuto on 19 November at Kahawa Barracks by US Defense Attaché and Senior Defense Official Colonel Kevin Balisky.
The APCs will support KDF’s efforts in the fight against extremists, including the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), along the border region. Defeating the threat of IEDs is a critical component of denying violent extremists freedom of movement, the US Embassy in Nairobi said.
“These vehicles represent the unwavering U.S. commitment to Kenya and our shared national security interests. As the KDF continues to conduct daily operations against violent extremism, these vehicles will enhance the mobility and force protection of their troops in harm’s way. We are proud to be friends and partners with the KDF as they secure and develop peace in the border region,” said Balisky.
The United States is currently providing a three-week train-the-trainer course for Kenya Army operators and maintainers of the Bastion APCs.
The United States has donated Bastion vehicles to African nations before, and in September 2015 the US Department of Defence ordered Acmat Bastion vehicles for Somalia (32), Uganda (17), Amisom (13), Tunisia (4), Cameroon (15) and Ethiopia (12).
The Bastion range of tactical armoured vehicles features STANAG 4569 protection and can carry ten to 12 people. They are based on the VLRA TDN-TDE platform for easy maintenance and logistics. The Bastion APC is configured for troop transport while the Bastion Patsas is a semi-open-top design developed with French Special Forces for reconnaissance and assault.