January 08, 2020
- They have been deployed to secure the base following Sunday’s terror attack.
- Most EARF troops are stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, or travel throughout East Africa to conduct training engagements.
US troops head out for a deployment on January 4, 2020 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. PHOTO | ANDREW CRAFT | GETTY IMAGES | AFP
By Mohamed Ahmed | Daily Nation
A contingent of American crisis response soldiers is currently stationed at Manda Bay to beef up security after the military base was attacked by al-Shabaab fighters on Sunday.
The East Africa Response Force (EARF) was deployed to secure the base which has both Kenyan and American military presence.
“The EARF provides a critical combat-ready, rapid deployment force. The EARF’s ability to respond to events spanning a vast area of responsibility provides a proven and invaluable on-call reinforcement capability in times of need,” said US Africa Command (Africom) Director of Operations Major-General William Gayler in a statement on Tuesday.
EARF responds to a broad range of military operations, including the protection of US citizens and diplomatic facilities, support for non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations and other missions as directed.
It also responds to crises and also has troops that are always on call.
Most EARF members are stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, or travel throughout East Africa to conduct training engagements.
Manda Bay base, also known as Camp Simba, is a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) military base which is used by US forces to provide training and counter-terrorism support to its East African partners, respond to crises, and protect US interests.
Deployment of the personnel comes as Africom revealed that terrorists who were repulsed in the attack penetrated through a perimeter to launch their assault.
The Nation had reported that the unknown number of Shabaab fighters gained entry to the airstrip through Chandavai in Hindi where they disconnected power before launching their attack.
KDF and Africom personnel repelled the attack involving indirect and small arms fire.
Africom later confirmed that it lost three service members in the pre-dawn attack that also saw five terrorists dead.
KDF later reported that following a military operation, one PKM gun, four RPG launchers, four AK-47 rifles, a hand grenade and assorted ammunition were recovered.
Al-Shabaab staged the daring attack barely a week after the US launched air strikes targeting the extremist group after a car bomb killed at least 81 people in Somalia. Four militants were killed in the strikes.
Their attack on the military base in Lamu also happened just four days after militants from the terror group killed three people and injured three others who were travelling along the Mombasa-Lamu road.
They ambushed a convoy of buses, including Simba Coach, Mombasa Raha and TSS, that were headed to Lamu from Mombasa.