Inside Rapid Deployment Squadron Training, These Commandos Are Killers!

Being the only Special Force elite unit in Kenya Air Force, Rapid  Deployment Squadron (RDS) was formed  to  help  in  the   formulation   of   new   strategies   to   counter   new   security   challenges.

Primarily, RDU’s is Combat Search & Rescue and disaster response.

Going by their name, RDS provide first response to reinforce  security  personnel  in  strategic  locations  when  need  arises  or  first  respondents in disaster situation when called upon.

More so the need to have the Squadron created was necessitated when Search & Rescue  plans  for  Maritime  Patrols  were  being worked out during the 2005 Anti-Piracy  Operations  in  the  Indian  Ocean. 

KDF in their annual publication revealed that KAF was  conducting  deep  sea  surveillance and Search & Rescue plans that required rapid  response capability.    

Then military operations commenced   in   Somalia   in 2011,   this is where the formation of the unit became inevitable, as part of the force that would complement Combat Search &  Rescue  efforts  for  the  operation.  KDF said in their Website.

TRAINING

The   initial   training both locally and   overseas began  in  2006  as  part  of  capacity  building initiative towards the formation of  the  unit.  Currently, the  unit  exists  as  the  Rapid  Deployment  Squadron  (RDS)  of  the Kenya Air Force.

According to KDF,  RDS trains in many locations in Kenya and abroad.  KDF’s website further revealed that training type and location is determined by the nature of the skills to be imparted.

In Kenya there   is   no   single   location   where all these  skills  are  trained, KDF says.

Other trainings are jointly done  with  other  units  of  sister  services  such  as  Special  Forces  and  rangers  of  the  army  and  sailors from the  navy.

OPERATIONS

KDF’s Magazine Volume 6 revealed that  apart from carrying personnel  recovery  and  Combat  Search  &  Rescue  the  unit  is  envisaged  also  to  perform  an  array  of  missions  including;  support  to  security  personnel  at  vital/strategic  installations,  carry  out  special  operations  in  enemy  territories and counter terrorism missions such   as   close   quarter   battle,   room/building    clearance    bomb    detonation    among others.

RDS headquarters is at Moi Air  Base,  Eastleigh.

EQUIPMENTS

Being in its early formative stages, KDF says that  RDS continue to be  equipped with modern equipment.

Currently is has  variety  of  equipment such as Medium lift transport Aircraft,  Combat  Support  Helicopters,  Armored    personnel    carriers,    Zodiac    Boats,   Mountaineering   Gear,   Tactical   ground     radars,     Assorted     array     of     communication equipment and Assorted light  weapons. 

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