The United States Government handed over 12 Mack Defense Bastion armoured personnel carriers to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on 19 November, the U.S. Embassy in Kenya announced.
U.S. Defense Attaché and Senior Defense Official Colonel Kevin Balisky presented the vehicles to the Deputy Kenya Army Commander Major General Thomas Chepkuto at a ceremony at the Kahawa Barracks in Nairobi.
“These vehicles represent the unwavering U.S. commitment to Kenya and our shared national security interests. As the KDF continues to conduct daily operations against violent extremism, these vehicles will enhance the mobility and force protection of their troops in harm’s way. We are proud to be friends and partners with the KDF as they secure and develop peace in the border region,” said Colonel Balisky.
The contract was awarded to Mack Defense and the vehicles are part of a batch of 62 procured for several African countries under an order announced by the US Department of Defense in 2015.
The APCs will improve border surveillance capability of the KDF and will support its effort in the fight against extremists, including the use of improvised explosive devices (IED), along the border region. Defeating the threat of IEDs is a critical component of denying violent extremists freedom of movement.
The United States is currently providing a three-week train-the-trainer course for Kenya Army operators and maintainers of the Bastion APCs.
The Mack BASTION is a modular line of armored vehicles of 12.5 tonne (27,558 lbs) category. The chassis from the 4×4 VLRA offers good tactical mobility, as well as great ruggedness and ease of maintenance.
The BASTION armored hull offers a large internal volume and ballistic, mine and IED protection as per STANAG 4569. It is available in troop transport version or open-body PATSAS version for Special Forces. The APC can also be fitted out in ambulance, cargo and command post versions.
Numerous countries in Africa and the Middle East rely on the BASTION APC and PATSAS for peace enforcement, peacekeeping, reconnaissance and combat missions. It is also used by several Special Forces units.