Kenya’s Special Operations Forces (Kenya SOF)

Map of Kenya

Kenya SOF is a recent addition to the Kenya armed forces. The largest of these units in the Kenya SOF is the Special Operations Regiment (SOR). The SOR is composed of the 20 Para, 30 Special Forces, and 40 Rangers Strike Force.

The Special Operations Regiment has been used very aggressively over the past five years. They have been actively engaged in Somalia the past several years. The SOR operators are highly trained, experts in special operations, and well-equipped.

Training is conducted within Kenya but the Kenya SOF also work with and train with commando units of the United States, United Kingdom, Jordan [1], and Belgium.

Another specialized unit is the General Service Unit (GSU) – the commando or paramilitary unit of the Kenya Police Service. The GSU has been in existence for many years – and is heavily involved in counter-terror operations, civil disorders, and special operations.

The Kenyan Special Boat Unit (KSBU) is a Kenya naval unit has been trained up by United States Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) personnel. The KSBU go through a thorough training course including combat medicine, navigation, boat handling, weapons proficiency, and ship boarding procedures. Some of the training takes place at Manda Bay. [2]

The Kenya Air Force is in the process of establishing (as of 2016) an Air Force unit that will operate behind enemy lines to conduct personnel recovery. This unit has been receiving training from the U.S. Air Force and is to be based at the Nanyuki Airbase. [3]

Read More:
“Kenya’s elite forces have become more lethal since Somalia entry”Daily Nation, October 9, 2016.
“Special Operations: Kenyan Commandos”Strategy Page, November 23, 2011.

[1] See “Jordanian SOF Training Kenyan Defence Forces”Special Operations International, September 22, 2016.
[2] A news release by the U.S. Navy describes a joint combined exchange training (JCET) for the training of the Kenya Special Boat Unit. “Naval Special Warfare Assists In Building Kenyan Special Boat Unit”, June 10, 2000.
[3] “Kenyan Air Force Establishes Combat Rescue Unit”Defense House, June 21, 2016.

About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.