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U.S., Kenyan Officials Assess Military Relationship

U.S. and Kenyan defense officials met at the Pentagon today to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the countries and look for new ways to increase defense cooperation. 

Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international affairs, met with Kenya Cabinet Secretary of Defense Eugene L. Wamalwa and Kenya Army Gen. Robert K. Kibochi, the chief of the Kenya defense forces, for the U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Defense Forum in the Pentagon, today.  

A woman and a man wearing a face mask shake hands in a group of people at the bottom of the steps outside the Pentagon.
Pentagon Meeting
Chidi Blyden, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, greets Kenya Cabinet Defense Secretary Eugene L. Wamalwa at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., May 4, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee, DOD
VIRIN: 220502-D-WA993-1001
U.S. and Kenyan officials sit across from each other at a long table.
Group Photo
Celeste Wallander, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, and Chidi Blyden, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, meet with Kenya Cabinet Defense Secretary Eugene L. Wamalwa at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., May 4, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee, DOD
VIRIN: 220502-D-WA993-1009

The talks reaffirmed the two countries' commitment to strengthening bilateral defense cooperation between the Defense Department and the Kenya Ministry of Defense and Kenya Defense Forces, officials said at the conclusion of the meeting. 

The two sides discussed a range of topics, including regional security, cybersecurity and security cooperation as well as the mission of U.S. Africa Command and status of the partnership program between Kenya and the Massachusetts National Guard. 

U.S. military forces have worked closely with Kenyan forces for years. Kenya was a member of the African Union Mission in Somalia and now works there in the new African Union Transition Mission. U.S. personnel served as advisers to the mission in Somalia and helped with logistics and communications for the peacekeeping force.  

Two soldiers work together with survey equipment.
Kenya Survey
Army Sgt. Dominic McNally trains a member of the Kenya Defense Force on surveying equipment at the Archers Post Training Area in Larisoro, Kenya, March 9, 2022.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Justin Martin
VIRIN: 220309-Z-TM056-0150A
Soldiers stand as a group.
Justified Accord
Soldiers host metal detecting training during Justified Accord in Isiolo, Kenya, March 11, 2022. U.S. forces joined representatives of Kenyan, Djiboutian, Rwandan and other partner forces for a multicomponent training exercise that focused on interoperability and peacekeeping operations in East Africa.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Neysa Huertas Quinones
VIRIN: 220311-A-D0439-119

Kenyan service members have participated in many U.S. Africa Command exercises and served alongside American troops in U.N. operations. 

Kenyan officials were among those in attendance at the Ukraine Security Consultative Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany — one of four African nations to attend the meeting of more than 40 nations.  

U.S. and Kenya defense officials intend to continue a strong partnership going forward, including the next iteration of the U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Defense Forum, officials said in a written release. 

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