Two more police choppers under assembly, to increase fleet to 11
SEE ALSO :Police air wing gets choppersTwo other fixed wing plans for the service-C208 Caravan type- are also unserviceable and need engine overhaul. On Wednesday, officials at the airwing said they are occupied on a daily basis and hope those under repairs will be addressed soon. “We currently have two helicopters out on detachment in Boni Forest, Lamu and another in Wajir. The others are on surveillance in Nairobi now,” said an officer at the airwing. The 5Y-DCI helicopter had crashed in Boni Forest last year and sustained damages. It was among three others that had been shipped out to Czech Republic for overhaul before the crash. The others that are now serviceable include 5Y-STA, 5Y-SFA, 5Y-DIG, 5Y-PEU, 5Y-NPW, 5Y-REX and 5Y-NPX. One of the choppers is dedicated to the Presidential Escort Unit. The unit protects the president and his family. The new aircrafts estimated to have cost the taxpayers Sh4 billion add into an assortment of police equipment procured so far. Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai said government is keen to build the capacity of the police in line with police modernization drive that has seen the service quipped with new Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and other equipment. Police capacity had in the past been affected due to lack of aircrafts and grounded ones. Mutyambai said modern aircrafts fitted with night vision and infrared capabilities, will be utilized during both day and night operations to provide safety and security at all times. He underscored the importance of aerial surveillance in police operations adding that NPS is committed to taking the services to the grassroots. “This airwing will be funded and revamped to meet the modern demands. We are committed to this,” he said. The airwing has 21 pilots and 39 trainee pilots who form part of 150 staff there.