US and Kenyan defense officials met at the Pentagon today to strengthen bilateral ties between the countries and explore new ways to increase defense cooperation.
Celeste Wallander, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs, met with Kenyan Defense Minister Eugene L. Wamalwa and Kenyan Army General Robert K. Kibochi, Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces, for the U.S.-Kenya Pentagon Bilateral Defense Forum, today.
The talks reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and the Kenya Ministry of Defense and the Kenyan Armed Forces, officials said at the end of the meeting.
The two sides discussed a range of issues, including regional security, cybersecurity and security cooperation, as well as the mission of US Africa Command and the status of the Kenya-Massachusetts National Guard partnership program.
US forces have worked closely with Kenyan forces for years. Kenya was a member of the African Union Mission in Somalia and is now serving there in the new African Union Transitional Mission. US personnel acted as advisors to the Mission to Somalia, assisting with logistics and communications for the peacekeeping force.
Kenyan military personnel have participated in many US Africa Command exercises and have served alongside American troops in UN operations.
Kenyan officials were among those attending the Ukraine Security Consultative Group meeting at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany – one of four African nations attending the gathering of more than 40 nations.
U.S. and Kenyan 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 press release.