Kenya military’s most secretive arm- the Kenya Special Forces is the flag bearer of the Kenyan troops into war staged against the terrorists, al Qaeda like al Shabaab.
Very little is known of these army men. In fact, all records denoting their work and missions fall under classified information.
Their official name is Kenya Army Paratroopers. You will only see them during the national pass out parades. Within the army they are just known as the ‘green berets’ or the ‘paras’.
The little known about the men in Kenya Special Forces, who comprise the gist of personnel in Kenya’s military the better owing to the kind of job they do.
Little is known about their significance in the war in Somalia, but the fact is that they preceded Kenya Defence forces in Somalia, first of all capturing al Shabaab base at Kismayo, in a clean and hasty operation that established a footing for the rest of Kenya military fighters who have gone ahead to bring down radicalists.
Down history, the Kenya Special Forces have been trusted with the most delicate operations.
The Kenyan public came to know their significance during the abortive 1982 Coup plot against Kenya’s second president Daniel Moi’s administration by the Non-commissioned Officers of the Kenya Air Force.
To cool the violence, it was the Kenya Special Forces men who escorted Moi back to Nairobi from the Rift Valley.
The second time was during independent Kenya’s second transition. President Kibaki’s first Aide de Camp was an officer from the Kenya Special Forces.
Their mission is “to execute airborne operations in order to counter both external and internal threats”, centerd on their role “to conduct airborne operations and special operations in both conventional and unconventional warfare.”
Training for entry into Kenya Special Forces is not easy. In fact, only a few make to completion. The training can be likened to torture.
Their training also involves the ever risky airborne insertion from both fixed wing aircraft and choppers. The paras therefore not only rely on the army’s airborne unit the 50th Air Cavalry Battalion but also the Kenya Air Force.
But most important, all personnel in the Kenya Special Forces are bound by the Official Secrets Act, small wonder they reveal nothing about themselves and confirm nothing even when confronted by facts.