General Service Unit Recce Company Kenya


The GSU Recce Company is a special forces unit within Kenya Police's paramilitary wing of the General Service Unit (GSU). Their headquarters are located in Ruiru where between 500 - 2,000 soldiers are situated; their exact numbers is unknown because of the secretive nature of the General Service Unit.

The main crucial function of the GSU Recce Company is to provide support and reinforcement to the other field companies of the General Service Unit during combat and security operations. The company is also deployed on its own to perform security operations that require the highest level of attention. Due to their elite training and combat experience, the GSU Recce is capable of being deployed in the event of war.

An illustration of how the GSU Recce are armed

Officers in the GSU Recce Company are elite soldiers who are well-trained both within Kenya and abroad in highly regarded military training facilities. They receive their training in countries such as Israel, United Kingdom, and the United States and this makes the company a specially trained unit of commandos that is comparable to these country's special forces units i.e. Israel's Sayeret Matkal, Britain's SAS and America's Delta Force. 

The General Service Unit Recce Company is armed and equipped with the best military equipment:
  • Bullet Proof Vest a protective covering worn around the torso to protect the wearer from bullets and shrapnel from explosions.
  • Magazine Pouches attached to the bullet proof vests used for carrying additional magazines. Small pouches are for carrying pistol magazines while the bigger ones are for rifle magazines.
  • M16 Rifle a 5.56 mm calibre ammunition rifle which can be both semi and full automatic commonly used in modern warfare.
  • Thigh Pistol Holster used to carry an additional pistol. When an officer is wearing a bulletproof vest, it is impossible to employ hip holsters and so a holster is tied on the thigh.
  • Sunglasses worn to prevent the public from knowing where an officer is looking. An officer's head  could be facing forward thus creating the impression that he is looking in front but could be he is actually looking to his right or left. If members of the public cannot see an officer's eyes, they may not be able to tell where his attention is directed or what he thinking which gives the office tactical advantage of hiding their intentions.
  • Portable Police Radios fixed on the shoulder or chest which have earphones attached so that officers do not necessarily have to hold them in their hands while communicating.
  • Bayonet a knife, sword or spike shaped weapon used as a spear to stab the enemy in close-quarter combat where an officer does not have to shoot. It is designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle.
  • Knee and Elbow Pads for offering protection and comfort to the knee and elbow respectively especially during combat situations.
The GSU Recce Company has three key subunits. The first one being the Sky Marshal Unit an undercover counter terrorist unit on board commercial flights to counter aircraft hijackings. The second one is the Crisis Response Team which is always on standby to swing into action when situations get out of hand. The third unit is the Rendition Operation Team mostly trained in Israel and America and is deployed to perform delicate and sensitive security operations.

General Service Unit Crisis Response Team - Recce

For recruitment into the General Service Unit Recce Company, young Kenyan citizens who are fit and healthy must attend the joint nationwide Kenya National Police Service recruitment exercise after its announcement by the Government. Successful applicants who are enlisted are then sent to the GSU training school in Embakasi for basic training. After the GSU basic training, those who emerge the best in academic and field performance undergo a further seven months specialized training in VIP protection, explosives handling and detonation explosives, security of vital installations, anti-terrorism, sky marshal (the counter terrorism unit on board commercial flights) and rescue operations. Afterward, the GSU officers pass out and are then incorporated into any of the three subunits of the Recce Company depending on their area of specialization. Click here for more GSU info.


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