Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Francis Ogolla gives his remarks during Kenya Air Force Family Open Day at Moi Air base on 8th June 2019.
The Commander Kenya Air Force Major General (Maj Gen) Francis Ogolla on 8 June 2019 led the Kenya Air Force (KAF) family in commemorating the 2nd KAF family open day at Moi Air Base (MAB), Eastleigh. Concurrent events were also held in Laikipia Air Base (LAB) and Wajir Air Base (WAB).
The KAF Family Open Day was launched in 2018 under the theme: ‘KAF Family, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.’ The aim of the Family Day is to recognize families of Kenya Air Force and their immense sacrifice, contribution and support they provide to the personnel of KAF. It is held on the first Saturday after Kenya Air Force Day (4th June) and brings together widows, widowers and orphans of deceased KAF personnel, Retired and serving KAF personnel.
In his speech, the Commander KAF Maj Gen Francis Ogolla emphasized the importance of a stable family. “Those who are serving become part of the Kenya Air Force family and by extension so do their families. Families of those serving, retired and deceased are part of this family and their stability of is vital to the achievement of Kenya Air Force mission. When personnel know that their families are at peace then they can give their undivided attention to service of the Nation,” Maj Gen Ogolla said.
“As KAF we are committed to do all that is within the law to ensure the comfort and fulfillment of the welfare needs of our personnel and that of their families. To this end, through the initiative of the Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Welfare Centres have been established up to the Wing level to ensure accessibility to all service personnel and their families,” reiterated Maj Gen Ogolla.
Finally Maj Gen Ogolla emphasized on the importance of KAF personnel preparing a will as early as they can. He said that it provides security to the family of deceased and reduces complications.
The Commander KAF’s sentiments were echoed by Deputy Commander KAF Brigadier S M Wachira and Colonel S K Sane who were presiding over the KAF family open day at LAB and WAB respectively. The families who participated in the events at LAB and WAB were air lifted to the two venues.
KAF Welfare Officers Lt Colonel Mwasigwa, Major Kirimi, Major Lajah and Major Ojwang in their opening remarks at respective KAF bases expounded on the importance of the established Welfare Centres and what they are aimed at achieving. While executing the mandate of defending and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kenya, Service personnel may suffer injuries or lose their lives, creating a strain on the families of the affected Service personnel. Thus the welfare centres were created to build a support system for such families. The centres are principally the contact points for all families of serving, retired and deceased service personnel.
Inspirational speeches were made by Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Philip Serem, who talked on adjusting to life after retirement and outside the Service and Corporal (Cpl) Antony Kauma who is living testimony that disability is not inability. Cpl Kauma is physically challenged and is not able to use his legs anymore as a result of an accident he was involved in while on duty. Despite his situation, Kauma has maintained a positive attitude and with the support of the established Welfare Centres and the KAF fraternity, Cpl Kauma has been able to carry on with his work without any hindrances. More testimonials of how the Walfare Centres have made the transition of retired and families of deceased KAF personnel smooth, came from a KAF widows, retired Service Members and orphans.
The KAF family open day at MAB, LAB and WAB were graced by several activities among them being entertainment from KDF sponsored schools, choirs and KAF theatre troop, cake cutting, tree planting and games for children. The events were attended by KAF Senior Officers, Officers and Service Members, retired KAF personnel and families of deceased KAF personnel.
Corporal Antony Kauma a Person Living with Disability, addresses the guest during the KAF family open day at MAB.
Mrs Mary Syonthia wife of the Late WO 2 Ngumbau giving her speech during the KAF family open day at LAB.
WO 1 Rtd Godfrey Marangu Mbui giving his speech during the KAF family open day at LAB.
Students from Moi Air Base Primary School, entertain guests during the KAF family open day at MAB.
Deputy Commander Kenya Air Force Brigadier S M Wachira leading KAF family members in cake cutting to commemorate the KAF family open day at Laikipia Air Base.
A KAF Service Member assists family members of KAF personnel to plant a tree during the KAF family open day at Wajir Air Base.
Family members and KAF personnel share a meal during the KAF family open day at Wajir Air Base.