Members of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS) have spent 5 days with the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) and battalions including the Parachute Regiment to learn more about the British Army’s role in East Africa.
AFPS is a privately run programme which gives Members of Parliament and peers in the United Kingdom and members of devolved assemblies, Tynwald and British MEPs experience of the armed forces. Its aim is to improve the quality of debate on military issues, and does this by exposing its members to first-hand experience of the service.
Six members of parliament including Redditch MP Rachel Mclean, Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin took part in the visit aimed at broadening their understanding of service life in Kenya, showcasing BATUK’s world class training and finding out more about the realities of life in camp.
BATUK demonstrated the diversity of the activities they conduct in Kenya including defence engagement with the Kenyan Defence Force and the recreational activities that BATUK staff enjoy in between exercises.
The MPs also visited the British High Commission in Nairobi where they were briefed by Brigadier Mark Thornhill and met High Commissioner Nic Hailey.
Speaking about the visit, actress turned politician Ms Brabin said: “As a proud supporter of our Armed Forces I felt the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into their important, courageous and tireless work was too good to miss.
“Many of my constituents join the Armed Forces to serve their country and, as their representative in Parliament, I feel it’s important that I broaden my knowledge of the complexities of military life.
“My time on the scheme so far has offered an invaluable insight into the vital role the Armed forces play in our defence as well as the numerous career opportunities it can offer.”
A statement about the visit said “It was a pleasure to host the team and BATUK look forward to future visits.”