Historic moment as General Fatuma takes office as KAF boss

Thursday, May 9th, 2024 21:39 | By
Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed in an address. PHOTO/@kdfinfo/X
Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed in an address. PHOTO/@kdfinfo/X

Major General Fatuma Ahmed has officially taken over as the Commander of the Kenya Air Force, marking a historic moment as she becomes the first female service commander in the history of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

The Change of Guard ceremony took place at the Headquarters of the Kenya Air Force in Nairobi, with Lieutenant General John Omenda handing over the baton as he moves into his new role as Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF).

General Fatuma takes over

The Kenya Defence Forces acknowledged the significance of the event, stating: "The Kenya Air Force (KAF) witnessed a historic moment as Major General Fatuma Ahmed assumed her role as Commander KAF. Maj Gen Ahmed is the first female Service Commander in the history of the Kenya Defence Forces."

Speaking during bje handover ceremony, Lt Gen Omenda highlighted the importance of cooperation and maintaining the esteemed reputation of the Kenya Air Force.

“I urge you to cooperate with all those you interact with, both at work and while conducting your personal activities. Wave the flag of the Kenya Air Force high while upholding its great name,” Lt Gen Omenda stated.

Maj Gen Ahmed has an impressive career history, having served in various roles within the Kenya Air Force.

She joined the military in 1983, initially serving under the Women Service Corps, a female-only unit that was disbanded in 1999, allowing its members to join the main military services—the navy, air force, and army.

This provided more opportunities for women in the military, enabling officers like Maj Gen Ahmed to rise through the ranks.

In 2015, Maj Gen Ahmed became the first woman to attain the rank of Major General in the Kenya Defence Forces during former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration.

She had previously served as the first female brigadier in the country and has held positions such as Battalion Second in Command (BN 2IC), Staff Officer II Audit Personnel and Records, Colonel Personnel at the Kenya Air Force Headquarters, and Managing Director of the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme.

General Fatuma's promotion

Her promotion to Commander of the Kenya Air Force is seen as a significant step toward promoting gender equality within the military.

During her promotion to Major General in 2018, then-President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed his confidence in her role as a positive role model for women in Kenya.

On Friday, May 26, 2024, President William Ruto promoted Major General Gaiti Ahmed to Senior Directing Staff Air, furthering her trailblazing career.

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