Chief of Defense Forces General Samson Mwathethe on Wednesday held closed-door meeting with top US military generals, two weeks after extension of his term by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mwathethe's four-year term ended in April but President Uhuru Kenyatta, after consultations with National Defense Council, opted to extend his term by one more year, a move that technically ended illustrious military careers of Lt General Robert Kibochi and Lt General Leonard Ngondi.
And as he assumed the extended term, Mwathethe hosted US corps at Department of Defense headquarters in Nairobi, days after Washington DC pledged to help KDF crash Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.
"United States Defence #Security Cooperation Agency delegation led by the director Lieutenant General Charles Hooper on Wednesday paid a courtesy call to the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe at Defence Headquarters," KDF said.
Last week, the State Department of Defense said US is committed to support Kenya's course in Somalia. KDF invaded Somalia in 2011. Since the various gains have been made including liberation of Kismayu.
But despite the gains, KDF has suffered fatalities including the death of over 200 soldiers in El-Adde in 2016. The US however, said it's keen to help Kenya crash the militants.
“Both sides committed to enhance counterterrorism, defence, and maritime surveillance security co-operation through intelligence sharing and capacity building,” the statement said.
It added: “The two governments reaffirmed their commitment to degrade al-Shabaab and agreed to work with UN Security Council partners to sanction al-Shabaab and other terror groups operating in the Horn of Africa.”
Nairobi is a major strategic partner for Washington DC to matters security and has often provided training grounds. US has also been funding Kenya military in logistics and weaponry technologies.
In 2019/20 budget, KDF had it's allocations set at Sh121 billion and of the sum, Sh23 billion will be used in purchasing of modern weapons. Kenya's military spending is the biggest in East and Central Africa.