Deputy Army Commander Major General Walter Raria handing over the official flag of the newly established 88 Artillery Battalion to the Artillery Brigade Commander Brigadier Isaack Muchendu.
The new 88Artillery (Arty) Battalion was presented with its official flag in a colourful ceremony led by the Deputy Army Commander Major General (Maj Gen) Walter Raria at Larisoro military range and training grounds in Isiolo County on Friday 27th April 2018.
The event signified the launching of a new Battalion under Kenya Army which was approved for establishment in 2017. The ceremony also involved the official launch of first firing in accordance with the artillery tradition which requires the person who hands over the unit flag to fire the first inauguration shell.
The chief guest Maj Gen Walter Raria handed over the 88Arty Battalion flag to the Arty Brigade Commander Brigadier (Brig) Isaack Muchendu who then handed it over to the Acting Commanding Officer (CO) 88Arty Battalion Major Jonathan Kutto in the presence of Arty personnel who came to witness a new beginning for the Kenya Defence Forces Arty formation.
After officially handing over of the flag, and in keeping with the artillery tradition, Maj Gen Walter Raria got the privilege to fire the first shell for the 155mm Artillery gun. The firing team was led by Senior Sergeant James Kuchio.
The second and third shell were fired by General Officer Commanding (GOC) East Command (EASTCOM) Maj Gen Benjamin Biwott who was also a guest at the event and Brig Muchendu respectively.
In his maiden address the Maj Gen Raria emphasized on the need for the continuous training of the personnel from the new battalion in order to well equip them with the knowledge of the new gun and all it entails because it was that kind of gun that offers firing cover for the infantry troops during battle.
He also tasked the new battalion to ensure that the new guns are well maintained for they were very expensive to acquire.
GOC EASTCOM Maj Gen Biwott thanked the chief guest Maj Gen Raria for the invite to attend that historic occasion. He expressed his pride for being associated with artillery being an artillery officer in his days as a young officer.
In his address, Artillery Brigade Commander, Brig Muchendu also lauded the Chief of Defence Forces, General Samson Mwathethe for the continued reinforcement of Artillery with new model Artillery weapons. Brig Muchendu assured the Deputy Army Commander that he will ensure that the Artillery guns are well maintained. He urged the Artillery personnel to continue upgrading their skills by undertaking interlocking courses to ensure the effectiveness of the guns.
Present during the ceremony were the Artillery Brigade Deputy Commander Colonel Korir and other senior Officers.
Acting Commanding Officer 88 Artillery Battalion Major Jonah Kutto hands over the official flag to the Battalion RSM WO1 David Wekesa.
The 88 Artillery Battalion official flag being hoisted for the first time
88 Artillery Battalion personnel salutes three cheers to the Chief Guest Major General Walter Raria.