President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday presided over the official handover to the military the management of government civilian owned planes in the country.
He later launched the National Air Support Department (NASD) at Wilson Airport in Nairobi County.
NASD is a multi-agency unit created to consolidate and ensure efficient utilization of national aviation assets.
The building to house the new operational team has been renovated. It belonged to Kenya Revenue Authority.
This will see all planes owned by the Kenya police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline, Ketraco among others transferred and managed by personnel from the Kenya Defence Force’s Kenya Airforce.
Even though officials said the move is aimed at only managing procurement and maintenance aspects of the planes, insiders said a military Brigadier is in charge of the new outfit based at the Wilson Airport, Nairobi under multi-agency arrangement.
Brig. Chrispin Odhiambo of the Kenya Airforce and formerly of the National Defence College is the new commandant of the outfit and will be deputized by the National Police Service Airwing commandant Col Rodgers Mbithi.
This is the latest move by the president to involve military in civilian affairs in a series. He has defended the move saying the military are reliable.