Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), formerly the Kenya Armed Forces, is the military of the Kenyan republic. Article 241 of the Constitution of Kenya established the KDF and also laid out its composition. KDF is an organ of national security subordinate to the National Defence Council. The National Defence Council (NDC) serves as the civilian oversight authority of the three national security organs: KDF, National Police Service (NPS) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
The principal role of KDF is to defend Kenya against foreign aggression as well as counter threats to national security. They are also expected during disaster or emergency situations to cooperate and assist other authorities to manage such situations. The constitution also mandates that the KDF be deployed to restore tranquility within the nation with the approval of parliament. As such, they are the primary guarantors of national security.
KDF is made up of three branches: the Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and the Kenya Air Force. Enlistment into KDF is voluntary for all Kenyan above 18 years. The commander in chief of KDF is the President of the Republic, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and immediately below him is the Chief of Defence Forces, General (Dr) Julius Waweru Karangi. Next in the chain of command are the respective heads of the three branches of KDF.