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Presidential Escort Unit conducts security drill in Nairobi [Video]

On Monday, April 24, videos were shared on Twitter showing commotion at the Presidential Escort Team’s Highridge camp in Parklands, Nairobi.

Presidential Escort Unit convoy

The news about the security drill was first reported by a neighbourhood resident who posted videos of the activities online.

Many Kenyans were taken by surprise given the gunshot sounds and commotion coming from the highly protected area.

The videos show security officers dressed in their all-black suits making movements at the entrance of the gate as gunshot sounds rent the air.

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Some officers are seen rushing to enter the presidential escort videos while on the move.

Several high-placed sources aware of the situation have intimated that there was nothing to fear as the Presidential Escort Team was conducting a security drill.

According to security experts, the number of cars and structures is dependent on President Ruto’s itinerary and level of the risk.

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Before embarking on the road, the team has to strategize on which routes to take and analyze their choke points, shortcuts and details such as the sun’s position because direct rays can make it harder to spot threats.

As much as the travel arrangements are meant to keep President Ruto safe, the presidential motorcade is almost a tradition.

It is also a travelling show orchestrated to be a symbol of power for Kenyans to admire.

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Everyone involved in the making of this motorcade is supposed to be the best at what they do.

1. Route Car & Pilot Car

This car is usually minutes ahead of the presidential convoy and is supposed to recce the route to be used and provide insights about the road to the rest of the team.

In most cases, the car is a Mercedes Benz which bears a red banner on its front grille written “President’s Escort".

If there are potholes or crowds along the route, the officers in the car communicate this to the motorcade behind in order to prepare any reaction in good time.

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For long travels, the route car is the very first one and is minutes ahead while the pilot car is the next vehicle that follows.

2. Sweepers

Sweepers are police motorcycles which follow behind and this team may also comprise officers in cars. The outriders travel in a diamond formation and clear the way so that the motorcade’s speed remains consistent.

Imagine a situation where the head of state is sipping some water inside the car and it spills over. That would mean the speed is not consistent and the driver is driving aggressively.

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The flashing lights and occasional sirens are meant to keep the road clear so that the whole motorcade can remain at a consistent speed.

3. Lead Car

The lead car is usually the brain of the operation. Many times the leader of the president’s escort team rides in this car.

In some circumstances, the lead car can be beside the president’s vehicle while another car also covers the other side.

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4. President’s Vehicle

This is the car which carries the president. In most cases, President Ruto has adopted a Toyota L200 Lexus 570, or Mercedes Limousine depending on the occasion.

The cars are armoured and specially designed to keep bullets and explosives away.

Once the motorcade starts moving, the first rule is to not stop. Drivers are allowed to drive quickly but the experience has to be smooth.

5. Back-up Officers

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The cars that follow have additional security officers. Some are in uniform while others wear civilian clothes.

As was witnessed during a past security breach, officers who rushed to intercept a man who blocked the motorcade jumped out of the Toyota Landcruisers which followed the president’s car.

They are basically the President's first line of backup should something occur while en route.

6. Electronic Countermeasures Vehicle

This vehicle has long vertical aerials and domes which are used to jam communications and remote detonating devices.

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7. Control Vehicle & Support Vehicles

The vehicles carry high-value staff, such as members of the President's cabinet who may be accompanying him and their security detail, as well as additional security personnel such as military commanders.

The motorcade also includes an armoury containing weapons, an ambulance and a vehicle for the communications unit.

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