CSL Manda Bay welcomes SECDEF, Kenya Defence Force leaders

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath
  • 406th Air Expeditionary Wing

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Aden Duale visited Cooperative Security Location Manda Bay, Sept. 26, 2023 as part of the larger trip to Africa by Secretary Austin. During the visit, Austin was briefed on the capabilities of U.S. and Kenyan forces on the installation before speaking with and recognizing U.S. and Kenyan service members.

“Being away from home is always tough but if you got to be away from home you want to be able to work with great partners like the Kenyan forces. Thanks to their leadership for what they continue to do each and every day to make this possible,” said Austin. “Thanks to all of you for setting such a great example for all of us. We’re grateful for what you do and I wish you all the best as you endeavor to accomplish the mission.”

The 2022 National Defense Strategy commits the U.S. military to work shoulder to shoulder with our African partners in order to defeat terrorist groups and promote regional security and stability, something Secretary Austin underlined while speaking to U.S. and Kenyan forces.

“It’s a strong relationship and what we will endeavor to do each and every day is to strengthen that relationship. At this location, you are a model of interoperability,” said Austin. “You’re working side by side every day, taking care of each other and supporting each other.”

Secretary Austin discussed mutual plans with his Kenyan counterparts to advance bilateral security priorities and other regional issues and thanked them for their partnership and for hosting U.S. forces at Manda Bay. CSL Manda Bay, home of the 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron provides base operations and communications support for thirteen mission partners to include a safe landing zone for logistics, personnel recovery and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms.

“It was an honor to welcome our leadership, both Kenyan and American, and to show them the kind of work we do here every day,” said Lt. Col. John Farmer, 475th EABS commander. “We would not be able to do what we do without the support and professionalism of our Kenyan teammates and I think this visit showcased just that.”