A company contracted by the US Government has been recruiting ex-military men and former police officers to serve in war-torn Iraq.
The Standard has established that Sentry Security of East Africa Limited, a liaison company for Sentry Security of East Africa, USA, is targeting to take some 800 Kenyans to serve in Iraq.
The first batch of ex-army soldiers and former police officers with clean service records is expected to leave the country sometime this month, according to sources privy to the exercise.
The recruitment of the former security personnel, aged between 30 and 50, has been going on across the country for the past two months.
Necessary documents have been made available
A team of 65 ex-military men code-named Gilgil One is scheduled to meet in Gilgil town on Saturday, the sources said on Thursday.
A senior US Army officer, only identified as Colonel Franks, attended the first meeting in Nairobi, an indication that the recruitment has the blessings of both the Kenyan and American governments.
Our sources said the Kenya Government was aware of the exercise and all necessary documents have been made available.
“An exercise of such magnitude cannot take place without the knowledge of the President, who is the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces,” said one of the ex-army officers, who would be among the first batch leaving for Iraq.
While in Iraq the ex-soldiers would serve as guards at US military installations in the war torn country and also provide escort services.
Qualified applicants to serve in Iraq for 12 months
On Thursday, SSEA Country Director Mr J Kimuri confirmed that they were recruiting ex-soldiers to serve as guards and escorts.
Kimuri said they were recruiting ex-military personnel because they have experience to serve in places like Iraq and Sudan, which are experiencing war.
He, however, could not reveal when the recruits would leave for the mission in Iraq dubbed SSEA-Iraq.
Sources privy to the recruitment said the qualified applicants would serve in Iraq for a period of 12 months.
US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger has, however, said he was not aware of an exercise involving the recruitment of Kenya ex-soldiers and that the US Agency Sentry Securities was a private company and is not in anyway connected with the American Government.