Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Made in Kenya, trained by the UK – first-ever Kenyan Marines make history [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 5 May 2023.

UK-Kenya partnership creates first Kenyan Marine Commando Unit to counter threats and fight terrorism.

Friday 5 May – The first-ever Kenyan Marine Commando Unit (KMCU) have made history by successfully completing their basic training, marked by a passing-out parade at Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa.

The KMCU will be an elite fighting force with the ability to conduct specialised amphibious operations to weaken and disrupt threats to Kenya, and take the fight to Al-Shabaab by land and by sea.

Ten British Marines from 40 Commando Royal Marines trained the KMCU over twelve weeks as part of a training programme including physical fitness and amphibious assaults.

Potential recruits were selected from the Kenyan Military to undertake rigorous training programme. The UK-funded obstacle course that was constructed at Mtongwe Naval Base is a near identical replica of the course used at the Royal Marine Commando training base in Lympstone, UK.

This first cohort of Marines have kick-started a self-sustaining training cycle, whereby the Kenyan Navy will eventually be able to train their own Marine Commandos.

This joint endeavour to create the Marine Commando Unit is an example of the UK and Kenya’s enduring commitment to building a strong, capable and adaptable Kenyan Military that is already an anchor of regional stability and security.

The UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership, is an ambitious five-year agreement delivering mutual benefits for the UK and Kenya, and keeping our people safe; it is underpinned by the Defence Cooperation Agreement that provides the framework for this training programme.

The US Military are also an integral part of the creation of the KCMU by ensuring this specialist and formidable force are equipped to the highest standard.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot said:

“The UK, Kenya the US stand shoulder to shoulder in the shared endeavour of countering Al Shabaab. This history-making partnership – the creation of the first-ever Marine Commando Unit – is a clear signal of our three countries’ enduring commitment to the Kenyan Military and to regional security.”