KENYA-based Army families shared their views, issues and concerns with Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt during her recent visit to BATUK.
Among the main issues raised was the lack of spousal employment and access to training and learning, including the lack of funding available. Families also raised the fact that they only receive one Get You Home (Overseas) flight as opposed to families on postings to other countries who receive three.
The issue of divorced personnel having access to their children was discussed, as there is currently disparity compared to married personnel who receive six return Service Children’s Visits flights per year. Families argued that this separation affects the mental wellbeing of the child.
Disturbance Expense and Local Overseas Allowance were also high on the agenda as families explained that these allowances still do not reflect the true cost of a move to Kenya.
During her visit, the Minister also met with the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Raychelle Omamo, to discuss the UK and Kenya’s long-standing defence relationship, as well as personnel from the High Commission Defence Section, BATUK and British Peace Support Team East Africa.
Ms Mordaunt said: “I am pleased to visit Kenya where the UK carries out important capacity building work with both Kenyan and regional forces, critical operational readiness training for our own Armed Forces and is committed to support local communities in the areas in which it trains.”
Following the recent signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement between the UK and Kenya at the end of last year, the UK will continue to operate in Kenya and further develop our longstanding relationship.
In May 2015, Ms Mordaunt became the first woman to be appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces and is currently the only female military veteran in the House of Commons.