His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta today presided over the presentation of Presidential and Regimental Colours ceremony to the Kenya Navy Base (KNB) Manda Bay, at the Base Headquarters, Magogoni area,Lamu County.
KNB Manda Bay was commissioned in 1995 by former Chief of Defence forces General Mohamed Muhamud.
All military Bases and Units of the Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and Kenya Air Force are presented with both presidential and regimental colours. The Regimental Colour is presented to a Unit or Base at the same time with the Presidential Colour and it is displayed whenever the Unit or the Base performs a ceremony for General Officers who are accorded Half Guard Parades whenever they pay a courtesy visit.
It’s a well-guarded and treasured possession, since its loss might lead to disbandment of a Unit or the Base. The Colours embody the spirit of the Regiment and the exemplary service performed by a specific regiment.
Speaking during the function, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the ceremony is a historic event that will elevate the operational autonomy of the Kenya Navy Base at Manda Bay making it a more geo-strategic military installation for national, regional and global security operations.
The president assured the KDF fraternity of his unwavering support in terms of equipment and other resources needed in executing its mandate,when called upon.
“We will continue supporting you with tools and resources that you will need to defend our nation and to secure our interest as a nation,” he said.
President Kenyatta also urged security organs to correlate purposely to ensure that the country was free from both internal and external attacks. He described national security as a key enabler to the social- economic development agenda of any country, and praised security organs for the work they had done in thwarting many attacks on the people.
“Our security as a country is ultimately a shared responsibility and all security organs have a role to play. The multi-varsity security challenges that we face demand a greater cooperation between our security agencies,” said the President.
Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi said that Manda Bay has played a key role as the launch pad of the most of the major operations that KDF has executed in Lamu, its environs and across the border. The CDF cited the Operation Sledge Hammer that was under the command of Brigadier Tom Ngere as the most successful operations that was launched in Manda Bay.
Gen. Kibochi noted that the inauguration of Sickbay and trauma centre by the president is a great milestone to the KDF fraternity welfare since the facilities are very crucial in providing medical support to both KDF and other Multi Agency personnel in their respective Areas Of Operations (AOR).
“We are very grateful because this particular initiative was conceptualized by yourself, you directed that this must be able to serve the entire security sector,” General Kibochi said.
The Commander Kenya Navy Major General Jimson Mutai, expressed his special extolments to the president for directing that the Manda be honoured with colours. He said the Base has over years grown tremendously because of several government projects such Lamu port that was initiated by the government.
The Base is playing a crucial role since it hosts a Multi-Agency Command Centre (MACC) established in June 2014. It also the launching pad for operation Amani Boni which was launch in October 2020. The Base is also a U.S Government Forward Operating Location (FOL) since 2004 under the operational control of CJTF- HOA in Djibouti.
Lamu Governor Hon. Fahim Twaha, Ambassadors, General officers, Senior officers, retired General officers,senior officers ,officers and service personnel also graced the occasion.