The Deputy Commander Kenya Navy, Brigadier Lawrence Gituma, presided over the closing ceremony of the Joint Combined Exercise Training (JCET) Program on 30 April 2021 at the Kenya Navy Fleet, Mombasa.
The JCET program is an exchange training program between the United States Army and Kenya Navy through the Kenya United States Liaison Office (KUSLO).
The program involved officers and service members drawn from the United States Army Special Forces Operational Detachment and the Kenya Navy Special Operations Squadron (SOS).
The objective of the training was geared towards enhancing the capability of the Kenya Navy Special Operations personnel in maritime combat and security operations ensuring competent naval special warfare personnel are in place for effective deployment.
To achieve this objective, the training was tailored to emphasize on proper tactics, techniques and procedures necessary to conduct maritime security patrols and interdiction operations effectively, efficiently and with precision. The participants were trained in rifle marksmanship, tactical combat casualty care, ambush, raid and reconnaissance among other areas.
In his address, Brigadier Gituma, pointed that through the JCET program the SOS has been equipped with the necessary skills to combat terrorism conduct special tactical and amphibious operations as well as armed reconnaissance towards enhancing a secure and safe maritime environment.
“Kenya recognizes terrorism and piracy as real threats to national security. Combating these threats means protecting our littoral territory and sea lanes of communication from these menaces and it calls for employment of intensive maritime patrols. Joint trainings such as this, avail us the avenue of achieving this through continuous training of personnel and by conducting maritime operations exercises during the practical phase of training,” said the Deputy Commander.
Present during the ceremony was Lieutenant Colonel Collins Owino, the Commanding Officer Kenya Navy Ship JASIRI. He conveyed his gratitude and appreciation to the program participants for exhibiting high standards of professionalism and demonstrating excellent intellect in grasping tactics, techniques and procedures taught.
“You have been exposed to professional, combat and intellectual capacity building. These learning experiences have enabled you develop leadership skills, team work, group dynamics and problem-solving tactics which we believe when put to use will be a great asset during joint deployment,” Lt Col Owino said.
A diver from the SOS, received combat diving trident and was grateful for the opportunity to train with the US team citing the exercise relevance in assisting the Squadron advance in tactics as far as maritime operations are concerned.
“I am happy to have learnt more on small unit tactics, heavy weapons systems employment, surface supply and closed circuit diving; a new experience mainly used for clandestine and salvage operations,” explained one of the participants.
The training offered will go a long way in building up expertise and professionalism that is the backbone of the Kenya Navy Fleet, Special Operations Squadron.