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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H.

,
PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES
OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON KENYA AIR FORCE GOLDEN JUBILEE
CELEBRATIONS AT MOI AIR BASE, NAIROBI ON 4TH JUNE, 2014
Distinguished Guests,
Fellow Kenyans,
It is a great pleasure to celebrate with all of you the 50
th
Anniversary the
ubilee Anniversary of the Kenya Air Force! I a" glad to be here with the
distinguished guests, #ervice $o""anders, retired o%cers and service
"e"bers, and a host of other distinguished Kenyans! &our presence is
indeed a tribute to the estee" in which we all hold the Kenya Air Force!
'adies and Gentle"en,
'et "e begin by congratulating you all, and particularly the $o""ander, the
o%cers and the "enand wo"en of the Kenya Air Force! #ince its for"ation
on (adara)a Day in *+,-, fro" a #.uadron of the /ritish 0oyal Air Force, the
Kenyan Air Force has distinguished itself by its dedication to duty,
professionalis" and e1cellence! 2n behalf of every Kenyan, let "e e1press
"y appreciation for the patriotis" of every Kenyan whose service has
sustained the Air Force over its half century of e1istence!
'adies and Gentle"en,
Although your pri"ary "andate is to protect the sovereignty of the 0epublic,
the Air Force has served the people of Kenya in ti"es of e"ergencies and
disasters over the last 50 years! 3ver since the *+,0s, whenever we have
faced di%culties in covering the vast reaches of our country, the Kenya Air
Force has given distinguished service, ensuring that airlifts of relief and
essential supplies reach those who "ost need the", and rescuing victi"s of
4oods and other e"ergencies!
5his patriotic service is not as widely recogni6ed as it should be, and indeed
it is "y pleasure to honor you for it, and to bring it to the attention of a wider
public! (ost recently, the Air Force e1celled when we had to evacuate
thousands of Kenyans fro" #outh #udan7 you .uic)ly and e%ciently airlifted
"ore than one thousand Kenyans who were stranded by the violence, and
brought the" safely bac) ho"e! &ou have earned the highest praise!
2f course, you re"ain one of the security services of the Kenya Defence
Forces, and your 8rst tas) is to preserve and protect the nation and its
constitutional order! 2ver the years, the Air Force has secured our airspace,
and given invaluable support to its sister services in operations inside and
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outside the country! #o"e of its "e"bers have paid the highest price in the
course of this duty, and I now pay tribute to the"!
&ou have also advanced the cause of peace in the region! I want to single out
for co""endation the part that you and the KDF as a whole have played
in operations in #o"alia, where you have helped to bring peace to a troubled
neighbour! In all, your record is worthy of our nation9s appreciation!
'adies and Gentle"en,
3ven the troubleso"e part of your history has been turned out to good! I
refer, of course, to the unfortunate events of *+:;! 5hat incident pro"pted a
reorgani6ation of the force, which raised the standards of recruit"ent,
patriotis" and professionalis", and left us with an even stronger, "ore
disciplined service! 5he Air Force soared highest after its lowest "o"ent!
'adies and Gentle"en,
5he Kenyan Air Force can loo) bac) on its history with pride! /ut we cannot
spend too "uch ti"e celebrating7 as we need to re4ect on our way forward!
5he history of the service has been one of continuous i"prove"ent7 ta)ing
advantage of the latest "ethods, e.uip"ent and s)ills, to )eep the country
safe! 5hat tradition will be "aintained!
<e all )now of the "oderni6ation progra" the Kenyan Air Force, and the
wider Kenya Defence Forces, have been involved in! (y Govern"ent
re"ains co""itted to that "oderni6ation7 I freely accepted the duty of
protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the republic, and "y Govern"ent
will do everything in its power to ful8ll that obligation!
'adies and Gentle"en,
#erious tests lie before us! 5errorists who do not shy fro" doing violence to
"others and their children threaten Kenyan lives and property! =oachers
steal, )ill and destroy the inheritance nature has left us! 2ur borders "ust
be )ept safe! <e "ust >oin with our friends and neighbours to )eep peace in
our region!
5he nation, and its "en and wo"en in unifor", are e.ual to the tas)! ust as
your predecessors "astered great di%culties in the past, so too will you use
your diligence, patriotis" and innovation, to "eet the proble"s that face the
country! &ou will not 8ght alone7 our friends fro" across the world, as well as
our neighbours in the region, will stand by you!
'adies and Gentle"en,
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&ou have a force that is respectful of its traditions, strengthened by its
training, uni8ed by its patriotis", and ready to "eet whatever the future
brings! (ine is to as) you today to live up to your "otto, I"araAngani, and to
congratulate the entire Kenya Air Force fraternity on its 50
th
/irthday!
?appy landings now and always, and (ay God bless you all!
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