Home ECONOMY US Army chief admits gaps in Lamu attack

US Army chief admits gaps in Lamu attack

by biasharadigest
Economy

US Army chief admits gaps in Lamu attack

Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu
Smoke billows from the Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu after an Al Shabaab attack. PHOTO | POOL 

The United States military has admitted it was not “as prepared as needed” during the Al Shabaab terrorist group attack on a US base in Kenya mid last month.

Three Americans, including Army specialist Henry Mayfield Jr and US contractors Dustin Harrison and Bruce Triplett were killed in the attack.

The head of US Africa Command General Stephen Townsend while being grilled by a US congressional committee said the US military has since beefed up its defences on the Manda Bay base in Lamu and its other bases on the continent.

Townsend acknowledged that the US military was “not as prepared there at Manda Bay as we needed to be,” but he did not provide details because the matter is under investigation.

“I think it’s self-obvious we were not as prepared there at Manda Bay as we needed to be. Al Shabaab managed to penetrate onto that airfield. A lot of people don’t know but the base where our troops live is not where the airfield is,” he said.

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“But they were able to get access to that airfield, kill three Americans and destroy six aircraft there. So we weren’t as prepared. We’re digging into that to find out why that’s the case.”

Townsend’s comments came in response to questions from Arizona Senator Martha McSally who mentioned that media outlets have reported that Manda Bay was sparsely defended.

He added that since the attack the US has beefed up its defences on the Lamu base.

“But since that event, there’s about 120 infantrymen there on the ground now who are securing that place and they have been working hard since January 6 to put in the appropriate level of defenses,” he said.

The attack by the al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Shabaab at the heavily guarded Camp Simba on Manda Bay in Lamu, which serves both US and Kenya military soldiers, quickly drew fresh attention on the potent threat of Al-Shabaab.

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, has in recent years suffered deadly gun and bomb attacks from the Al-Shabaab militants who are demanding the withdrawal of troops from the Horn of Africa nation.

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