He said the ongoing modernisation of the Kenya Air Force and the wider Kenya Defence Forces will boost capacity to deal with all emerging challenges.
“Serious tests lie before us. Terrorists who do not shy away from doing violence to mothers and their children threaten Kenyan lives and property. Poachers steal, kill and destroy the inheritance nature has left us,” he said.
To secure the country’s borders and ensure peace in the region, President Kenyatta said Government will work closely with friends and neighbours.
“Use your diligence, patriotism and innovation to meet the problems that face the country. You will not fight alone: our friends from across the world, as well as our neighbours in the region, will stand by you,” President Kenyatta told the Kenya Defence Forces.
The President was speaking on Wednesday during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Kenya Air Force at Moi Air Base in Nairobi.
He commended the Kenya Air Force for its distinguished humanitarian service to Kenyans since its formation.
“Ever since the 1960s, whenever we have faced difficulties in covering the vast reaches of our country, the Kenya Air Force has given distinguished service, ensuring that airlifts of relief and essential supplies reach those who most need them, and rescuing victims of floods and other emergencies,” said the President. “Although your primary mandate is to protect the sovereignty of the Republic, the Air Force has served the people of Kenya in times of emergencies and disasters over the last 50 years,” President Kenyatta added.
President Kenyatta cited the recent evacuation of thousands of stranded Kenyans from South Sudan as an example of the Kenya Air Force’s humanitarian commendable service.
“You quickly and efficiently airlifted more than a thousand Kenyans who were stranded in South Sudan and brought them safely back home,” President Kenyatta said.
Apart from humanitarian duties, the President said the Kenya Air Force remained steadfast in its core task of preserving and protecting the nation and its constitutional order.
He said over the years, the Air Force has secured the Kenyan airspace, and given invaluable support to its sister services in operations inside and outside the country.
“Some of its members have paid the highest price in the course of this duty, and I now pay tribute to them,” the Head of State said.
President Kenyatta appreciated the role the Kenya Air Force continued to play in advancing the cause of peace in the region, particularly in the neighbouring Somalia.