Kenya IG Seminar

By Anthony B. Dunn, chief of IG Outreach, U.S. Africa Command

At the invitation of the Chief of the Kenyan Ministry of State for Defence Inspectorate, Brigadier John N. Wainaina, the U.S. Africa Command IG office conducted an IG familiarization seminar with 20 of their military personnel in Nairobi from 17-19 August.  The Kenyan Ministry of Defence Inspectorate includes active duty personnel from the Army, Navy, and the Air Force.

The seminar discussions were led by CDR Scott Bell, IG for Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, and I.  Our efforts were supported by Lt Col Marissa Lucero of the Kenya – United States Liaison Office.  The hospitality and support of the Kenyan Ministry of State for Defence throughout the course was excellent.  Each participant received a copy of the course workbook with all of the materials and readings used during the course.  We also identified additional sources of information and references as the course progressed.

We opened the seminar with examples of how the USAFRICOM and CJTF-HOA IG offices deliver value-adding services to our respective commands. Next, we gave an overview the 230-year history of U.S. military IG systems.  We also discussed the U.S. Government’s federal IG system and how those procedures and practices compared and contrasted with those of the military services. 

Our hosts indicated our three-phase, 17-step inspection model was quite helpful and responded positively to the level of detail we provided during that portion of the seminar.  Their inspection approach is similar and focuses on detecting deviations from standards and identifying root causes, just as ours does. Our discussions pertaining to the IG Assistance and Investigation functions motivated the participants to ask several questions about how we protect the confidentiality of complainants and witnesses. Our discussions were wide-ranging, lively and productive, with our hosts offering challenging hypothetical questions that tested our knowledge.  Among other things, our counterparts were very interested in how we documented findings and wrote investigative reports, and we shared our techniques on those subjects with them.

On the final day of the seminar, the heads of the various Kenyan Inspectorate functional areas and service components gave presentations that illustrated how they accomplished their work.  It was readily apparent that the IG-like system used by the Kenyan Ministry of Defence is specifically designed to focus on the operational capabilities of their forces. Despite differences in terminology and culture it was also clear that the Kenyan and U.S. IG systems have many similarities both in principle and practice.  The high degree of expertise and commitment of the Kenyan Ministry of Defence Inspectorate we observed is indicative of the priority placed on professional standards within their military forces.

The seminar started positively and ended that way as well.  The Chief of the Ministry of Defence Military Intelligence Directorate, Brigadier Philip Kameru, provided closing comments that challenged the Inspectorate to continue to find innovative ways to promote economic and efficient use of scarce resources.  In that regard, our oversight systems are completely in sync with theirs.  After the remarks, each seminar participant was presented with a completion certificate.

This seminar reaffirmed that the Kenyan Ministry of State for Defence Inspectorate is committed to exploring various points of view to help enhance the professionalism of their forces.  They also were motivated by the desire to increase their capacity for interoperability with neighboring countries in all types of military operations.  The mutual respect for each other’s approaches to fact-finding and problem-solving and the establishment of positive personal and professional relations with our counterparts were two of the main outcomes of this seminar.  Moreover, our hosts’ verbal and written feedback indicated they would like to participate in future IG engagements in conjunction with their East Africa regional partners.  We look forward to future engagements in the region as well.

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