Commander Kenya Navy (KN) Major General Jimson Mutai has today received a new Damage Control Unit (DCU) donated by the British and Danish Governments’ partnership in a ceremony held at the Kenya Naval Training College (KNTC) in the Kenya Navy Base Mtongwe, Mombasa.
The DCU will provide training to KN sailors, Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) personnel and other maritime agencies, on the prevention and management of damages onboard ships in accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the International Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS).
In his address, Maj Gen Mutai appreciated the British and Danish Governments through their embassies for being instrumental in assisting the KN and particularly KNTC to produce skillful and proficient sailors capable of defending the country against maritime security threats. The support augments the College’s vision of becoming a regional maritime Centre of Excellence.
“Our naval cooperation and partnership at the KNTC dates back to 2018 when we launched the Full Mission Bridge Simulator. The facility has greatly improved training of our personnel significantly cutting down on the cost of training. In June 2021, your support enabled us to launch the Firefighting Unit which set KN’s trajectory towards offering STCW certificates,” said Maj Gen Mutai.
Maj Gen Mutai further expressed his gratitude to the two Governments for their endless commitment to improve the quality of training at the KNTC. He mentioned the successful projects and programs that have bettered the KN and uplifted the capacities of other maritime stakeholders in pursuit of exploiting the immense potential of the Blue Economy.
“The safety of personnel in any working environment is important. All seafarers must undertake Basic Safety Training. The DCU will enhance sailors’ abilities to manage damages onboard vessels in the event such unfortunate incidences occur,” added Maj Gen Mutai.
In addition, Maj Gen Mutai reiterated the partners’ unwavering support in training KN personnel in courses such as the ongoing Basic Marine Commandos Course, Advanced Diving Course and Simulator Instructors Course.
The British Defence Adviser to the British High Commission, Brigadier Ronnie Westerman appreciated the collaboration that has existed between the KN and the British Government in the maritime sphere. She emphasized on the need for combined maritime operations and partnerships especially such as the upcoming Cutlass Express.
The Danish Defence Attaché Colonel Jens Lindvig noted the importance of the DCU in training both the KN, KCGS and other maritime stakeholders in order to develop Kenya’s Blue Economy.
“This is a brilliant example of what we can achieve when we coordinate and combine forces. I am confident that we will see more partnerships between KN, the Royal Navy and the Royal Danish Navy. I look forward to continuing our journey towards maritime excellence reinforcing KN’s position as an exemplary inspiration for other African navies in pursuit of maritime security,” Colonel Lindvig said.
The DCU compliments other training aid facilities and programs in the KNTC such as the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, Firefighting Unit, Printing Press and specialized local and overseas courses.