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Protecting Our Skies: Meet 5 Highly Trained Pilots Who Fly Our Military Jets

Joining the Kenya Air Force is one of the most coveted jobs in the country. 

It might be dangerous, but it offers one the chance to tour various countries while flying state-of-the-art military aircraft.

The pay is also tempting. 

However, that chance is often reserved for the chosen few. 

To begin with, one must be a Kenyan citizen in order to qualify to join the Kenya Air Force. 

One must also have at least a C plain in KCSE, have a fair understanding of the constitution of Kenya, have no criminal record, be physically fit, and be aged between 18 and 27. 

In this article, WoK uncovers the profiles of some of our best Kenya Air Force pilots. 

Cpt Collins Omoro

He is one of the best dedicated pilot fighters of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

He joined the military a few months before he was supposed to join Kenyatta University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. 

He joined the KDF in 2002 before joining the Kenya Air Force (KAF) in 2004 to train as a pilot. 

Upon qualification, the father of two was posted to the Laikipia Air Base (LAB), where he currently operates. 

“The experience of flying the Hawk, the first jet in the UK Royal Air Force Valley was amazing. When I took off, the plane was moving very fast and the runway ahead was getting smaller at an alarming rate, I almost overshot the runway,” he told Standard. 

Cpt Douglas Muthuri

Like Omoro, Cpt Muthuri was incorporated into the KDF in 2002 before joining KAF in 2004. 

He chose not to pursue computer science as he had been called to do in Moi University and instead opted to join the forces, where his passion belonged. He told Standard  that the job satisfaction he currently enjoys is epic. 

He grew up around Nanyuki air base, and therefore he could see fighter jets flying all around. This was what fueled his desire to become a fighter pilot

It was therefore a dream come true when, in 2004, he joined Laikipia Air Base, Tactical Wing Number 15. 

Cpt Cornelius Maiyo

Maiyo joined the forces in 2001.

Two years later, he joined the KAF, and after intense training, he was posted to the Laikipia Air Base Tactical Fighter Wing as a squadron Fighter in 2006. 

According to him, the challenges he encountered included a physically, psychologically, and mentally draining training exercise, which required mental preparedness, physical fitness, and perfect physiological and psychological health. 

However, as he says, the training prepares an officer for what lies ahead. 

Col. Eric Kinuthia

He is the deputy base commander of Laikipia Air Base. 

He joined the KDF in April 1987 and was immediately posted to the Kenya Air Force. There, he underwent basic and advanced training, graduating on March 30, 1990. He was later posted to the Laikipia Air Base as a highly trained fighter pilot. 

His first experience Flying military jets was in 1991 when he was posted to the US, Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, where he spent a year before flying back into the country. 

He is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management and also mentors some Children’s Homes in Nanyuki. 

Lt. Col John Omenda

Like Col. Kinuthia, Omenda is a fighter pilot and has flown military jets since 1991. He was enlisted in KDF in 1987 before being posted to Laikipia Air Base as a fighter pilot. 

Before joining the military, the father of four taught as a high school teacher in various high schools for two years. 

As a pilot fighter, his skills include navigating, communicating, hunting, and engaging enemy targets while defending himself.