DEATH

Military officer in charge of civilian airwing dies

Brigadier Chrispin Odhiambo died following an illness.

In Summary

• Brig Odhiambo becomes the third senior officer to die at the Wilson Airport based police unit this year.

• Last month, Evans Ochieng, an Assistant Inspector General (AIG), and who was Col Rogers Mbithi’s deputy also died.

Defence CS Monica Juma, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Brigadier Chrispin Odhiambo (R).
Defence CS Monica Juma, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Brigadier Chrispin Odhiambo (R).
Image: PSCU

The head of the newly created National Air Support Department, Brigadier Chrispin Odhiambo, is dead.

Brig Odhiambo, of the Kenya Air Force and formerly of the National Defence College, who was appointed the head NASD in December 2020, died at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday after an illness, his family and colleagues said.

Brig Odhiambo was in charge of the aircraft owned by the National Police Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited among other state agencies.

Brig Odhiambo becomes the third senior officer to die at the Wilson Airport based police unit this year.

Last month, Evans Ochieng, an Assistant Inspector General (AIG), and who was Col Rogers Mbithi’s deputy also died.

A few months earlier, former Airwing Director Eng John Patrick Owino also died after a short illness.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had in December presided over the official handover to the military the management of government civilian-owned planes in the country.

He later launched NASD at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

NASD is a multi-agency unit created to consolidate and ensure efficient utilisation of national aviation assets.

The President emphasised on the NASD mandate to provide a centralised management of national aviation assets for optimal utilisation, management and serviceability of air assets IOT enhance safety, swift response and quality of aviation services in line with the various stakeholders’ core mandates.

He regretted that in the past, lack of proper maintenance of aviation equipment within the national civilian air fleet has brought tragedies to the nation, claiming lives of citizens.

He said it was due to such challenges that the government decided to adopt a coordinated approach in the management of the country’s aviation assets.

“Indeed, the result of this approach has been poor manning, and state of aircraft serviceability in each of the individual government departments. In some cases, departments had more air assets, with less manpower while others had more manpower with fewer assets and others had low serviceability rates," the President said.

He said the inauguration of NASD signals a new era in the management of the country’s aviation assets, one which promises greater safety, efficiency and quality, and challenged the department's leadership to work hard to become the benchmark for other government agencies.

He assured NASD leadership of the government’s support, noting that they will be allocated adequate financial resources to modernise and put back to service grounded aircraft.

Military boss Gen Robert Kibochi reiterated the need to synergise government aviation cooperation through streamlined and standardised operations and maintenance standards for efficient service delivery.

 

Edited by CM