Africa

Defence Secretary Opens New British Army Facility In Kenya

Ben Wallace says the £70m site will cement the UK's partnership with Kenya "for decades to come".

The Defence Secretary has opened a new £70m barracks for British troops in Kenya. 

Facilities at Nyati Barracks, based at Laikipia Air Base East include welfare facilities, 158 Single Living Accommodations and 1,400 transit accommodation bed spaces.

They also feature a combined mess and Joint Forces Enabling Exercise buildings, which allows the Royal Engineers to undertake vital training.

Mr Wallace said: "Kenya is one of our leading defence partners in East Africa and this new facility will cement our partnership for decades to come, supporting stability and security in the region.

"It is only right we provide our personnel stationed overseas with high-quality accommodation and I was delighted to attend the opening of Nyati Barracks."

According to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the UK currently has about 230 military personnel based permanently in Kenya.

Most of the soldiers are based at the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), with thousands more visiting the country every year to take part in joint exercises.

Over the past two years, the British Army and the Kenyan Defence Force have conducted five joint training exercises from BATUK, involving about 600 Kenyan troops and 4,500 British troops.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Monica Juma, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence, unveil a plaque as they open Nyati Barracks (Picture: MOD).

Lieutenant Colonel Finlay Bibby, Commander Kenya, Overseas and Training Region said: "It is fantastic to have this new, purpose-built infrastructure that enables BATUK to deliver world-class training to our battle groups here in Kenya.

"For many years we were renting land from the Nanyuki Agricultural Society, which had to be vacated every year for the agricultural show.

"The new facilities at Nyati Barracks are permanent and will enable a significant increase in training capability and provide more secure facilities for the army to train."

Last month, the UK signed a security agreement with Kenya, promising deeper cooperation to combat threats such as terrorism, cybercrime and human trafficking.  

The new barracks are part of an MOD settlement totalling more than £24bn over four years to be invested into defence accommodation, training facilities and bases for service personnel at home and across the globe.

Cover image: Aerial view of the new Nyati Barracks, Laikipia Air Base East, Kenya (Picture: MOD).