By Kevin Heath
The British government has announced that to help in the fight against the poachers it is to send one of the most respected and feared fighting forces in the world - The British Army Paratrooper – to work with wildlife officers in Kenya. The deployment will take place later this month and the paras will be providing support and training to officers in the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenyan Forestry Service (KFS), and Mount Kenya Trust (MKT). The training and support will help boost skills in patrolling and fieldcraft.
The announcement was made by Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, ahead of his visit to Kenya this week.
Speaking ahead of his visit Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said, “It will be an honour to meet so many people who work so hard to conserve some of the world’s most iconic species for ourselves and our children.
“Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world’s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it.
“By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals.”
The British Army has a regular presence in Kenya with a permanent training support unit based mainly in Nanyuki, 200 km north of Nairobi. Up to 110 trainers can be based there when British Army battalions undertake training in the country. 6 battalions a year visit Kenya for 6-week training periods.
While the British Army has a permanent presence at the Kenyan Army College this will be the first deployment that will work closely with Kenyan wildlife rangers. More....