Two Panhards forming an arc to the entrance during Armour Day Celebrations held at 81 Tank Battalion on 30 June 2018.
The 81Tank Battalion hosted its inaugural Armour Day celebrations on 30 June 2018. The ceremony brought together both serving and retired amour officers and service members. The purpose of the event was to appreciate and celebrate the contributions made by theretired armour officers in the establishment and making of Armoured Brigade.
Armoured Brigade under its motto “Together We Punch”, is a mechanized manoeuvre formation whose main role is to deliver direct fire power during a battle. It currently has four battalions which are76 Armour Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), 78 Tank Battalion, 81 ARB and 86 Tank Battalion. Apart from the four battalions the brigade has School of Armour (SOA) which is responsible for training officers and soldiers on Armour tactics.
The historic function provided a rare opportunity for retired Senior Officers, Warrant Officers and their spouses to interact with Officers and Service Members serving in the Armoured Brigade. The get-together gave the retired personnel a chance to share their experiences and guidance to those serving so as to enable them to serve the military better.
The function was graced by the Principal Secretary State Department of Immigration, Border Control & Registration of Persons Major General (Maj Gen) (Rtd) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa. It was also honoured by the attendance of the Deputy Commander Kenya Army Maj Gen Walter Koipaton Raria.
In his welcoming address, the Armoured Brigade Commander, Brigadier Alphaxard Kiugu recollected his young days as a young officer working under the retired generals. He expressed pride and admirations for their level of integrity, professionalism and prowess in Command, leadership and management showcased by the past Brigade leadership.
He thanked the Commander Kenya Army for including Armour in the KDF modernization programmeallowing them the opportunity to rebuild a robust capability in order to meet the complex and multidimensional challenges being faced in today’s battle space. He assured the Army Commander of their unwavering support whenever shock action is required.
The Deputy Kenya Army Commander Maj Gen Raria recognized Armd Brigade efforts and service in the fight against terrorism and restoration of the war-torn Somalia. He extended his good will message and greetings to the Armoured Brigade personnel across the border in peace keeping missions.
In his speech, the chief guest Maj Gen (Rtd) Dr. Kihalangwa thanked all the retired generals for the mentorship and urged the officers still in service to always stay focused and professional in all their endeavours. He emphasized on team work, family values and loyalty to the country and its leadership as the keys to a great military career and any other service to the country.
Most Senior Officers who had an opportunity to speak in the event insisted that serving personnel should prepare for retirement while still in service. They highlighted that early preparation is important in order to undergo a smooth transition from the military to civilian life. They recommended that programs be initiated to prepare military personnel for retirement. The retired personnel also recognised that family is key towards having a successful career and peaceful retirement.
Some of the retired Senior Amour Officers in attendance included the Kenyan Ambassador in Somalia Amb Maj Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, Maj Gen (Rtd) George Mbau, Maj Gen (Rtd) Waweru, Maj Gen (Rtd) Walungu, Maj Gen (Rtd) Opiyo, Maj Gen (Rtd) Simon Karanja, Brig (Rtd) Calley Makanyama, Brig (Rtd) Chebet, Brig (Rtd) George Kabugi and Brig (Rtd) Magut, amongst others.
Also present was National Defence College Commandant Major General Andrew Ikenye, Kenya Military Academy Commandant Maj Gen George Owinow, the HQ Kenya Army Chief of Personnel Brig Henry Noah Ofulah, Kahawa Garrison Commander Brig Daniel Kimutai Pyaban, former Armd Brigade Commander Brig Ayub Matiri, Officers, Service Members among other invited guests.
The Chief Guest Principal Secretary State Department of Immigration, Border Control and Registration of persons Major General (Rtd) Dr. Gordon kihalangwa signing Visitors Book during Armour Day Celebrations held at 81 Tank Battalion.
The Chief Guest Principal Secretary State Department of Immigration, Border Control and Registration of persons Major General (Rtd) Dr. Gordon kihalangwa address the guests during Armour Day Celebrations.
Warrant Officer Class one Juma Mbuko (Rtd) gives a brief Armour history during Armour Day Celebrations.
The Nakuru East Primary School entertaining guest during Armour Day Celebrations held at 81 Tank Battalion.
Armour Tanks on display during Armour Day Celebrations.