The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has delivered a new headquarters and training facility at Laikipia Air Base East in Kenya.
Nyati Barracks, a £70-million facility, was built for the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) to replace their previous infrastructure.
Facilities at the new site include a new training headquarters, welfare facilities, 158 Single Living Accommodation and 1,400 transit accommodation bed spaces, a combined mess, a finance building, offices, stores and Joint Forces Enabling Exercise buildings which enable the Royal Engineers to undertake vital training in the construction of permanent infrastructure.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Kenya is one of our leading defence partners in East Africa and this new facility will cement our partnership for decades to come, supporting stability and security in the region.
It is only right we provide our personnel stationed overseas with high-quality accommodation and I was delighted to attend the opening of Nyati Barracks.
The programme provided approximately 400 jobs for Locally Employed Civilians and local contractors and included around 30 women working in traditionally male dominated trades, including electrical and plastering work.
To ensure all employees were operating in a safe environment, DIO worked closely with local authorities and supply chains to introduce UK certified health and safety practices.
A major programme of upskilling for Kenyan staff at the base also took place enabling the transfer of skills into the local community and assisting workers with future employment.
David Graham, Deputy Head Major Programmes and Projects, said:
DIO supports our armed forces by providing what they need to live, work and train and we are proud to have been a part of delivering this superb new facility in Kenya.
The programme was a testing one with seasonal rains and other challenges. However, together with our Overseas and Training Region colleagues we overcame these issues and have delivered a first-class facility that will benefit the army.
Our training unit in Kenya is a vital facility where UK soldiers prepare for operations around the globe. The UK currently has around 230 military personnel based permanently in Kenya, most of them at BATUK, with thousands more visiting the country every year to take part in joint exercises.
Over the past two years, the British Army and the Kenyan Defence Force have conducted 5 joint training exercises from BATUK, involving around 600 Kenyan troops and 4,500 British troops.
Lieutenant Colonel Finlay Bibby, Commander Kenya, Overseas and Training Region said:
BATUK delivers combined arms light role infantry battle group exercises in Kenya.
It is fantastic to have this new, purpose-built infrastructure that enables BATUK to deliver world class training to our battle groups here in Kenya. For many years we were renting land from the Nanyuki Agricultural Society, which had to be vacated every year for the agricultural show.
The new facilities at Nyati Barracks are permanent and will enable a significant increase in training capability and provide more secure facilities for the army to train.
The MOD has secured a substantial settlement of more than £24 billion over four years, allowing us to strengthen our investment into defence accommodation, training facilities and bases for our service personnel at home and across the globe.