British troops to return to Kenya for training in January

A British soldier (right) gives instructions during a joint training with KDF at Archer’s Post in Samburu County on October 7, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Brigadier Mark Thornhill said training by Batuk in Nanyuki will officially resume in January 2021.
  • The hot weather and rough terrain in Kenya is considered ideal for the British Army troops.
  • In the last two years, there have been 10 joint KDF-British Army training exercises.

Britain will redeploy its troops back to Kenya in January to continue with its training programme under the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk).

The training unit based in Nanyuki had been recalled back to the UK earlier in March following the outbreak of Covid-19.

On Wednesday, the British High Commission announced that Batuk is ready to resume training in Kenya as the Covid-19 infection curve continues to flatten.

“Some of the staffers are already back because we have seen the Covid-19 numbers go down. So we are ready to resume training with our Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) partners,” Deputy British High Commissioner Julius Court said.

According to Brigadier Mark Thornhill, defence advisor to the British High Commission, training by Batuk in Nanyuki will officially resume in January 2021 when the troops are expected to jet into the country.

An escalation of Covid-19 infections earlier this year saw the UK evacuate all its troops and their families from Nanyuki in a bid to protect them from the deadly viral disease.

The hot weather and rough terrain in Kenya is considered ideal for the British Army troops to improve on their skills while training in Laikipia. They have set up Nyati Barracks in Nanyuki town.

The UK continues to strengthen military collaboration with Kenya in a new joint training deal signed last month.

In November last year, Kenya and UK cemented their bilateral relationship by holding a joint military training on how to respond to competent enemy force in combat.

About 1,700 troops from Batuk and 300 from KDF were integrated into a specialised training at Loldaiga hills in Laikipia County.

In the last two years, there have been 10 joint KDF-British Army training exercises where 1,500 Kenyan troops have been involved.

Batuk has also over the years considerably invested in the local economy in Laikipia and created hundreds of permanent jobs for the local community.

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