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Oct 31, 2005

U.S. donates ten new trucks to B.D.F.

Story PictureAt around a thousand men and women strong the Belize Defence Force is larger than we can afford, but not large enough to defeat an invasion from the west. It’s not a great position to be in, but in life you’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt. And part of that poker game involves having powerful friends, like the United States of America, who from time to time provide the B.D.F. with assistance. Today it came in the form of transportation.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Over the past decade the B.D.F. has received an average of U.S. hundred thousand U.S. dollars a year for training and an additional two hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment. B.D.F. Commander Brigadier General Lloyd Gillett says the ten dodge trucks will greatly enhance his army?s mobility.

Brigadier General Lloyd Gillett, Commander, B.D.F.
?These vehicles will be distributed to the infantry companies that are deployed throughout Belize and they will use it to deploy patrols and all other tasks to ensure the security, stability, and prosperity of Belize.?

On the other hand, the U.S. military benefits from Belize?s unique environment that helps improve their soldiers fighting skills.

Robert Dieter, U.S Ambassador to Belize
?Well Belize has been very welcoming to our military allowing us to come down here to conduct jungle warfare training. In the past, the Louisiana National Guard has had the benefit of coming to Belize to work with its engineer platoons in various projects to build up the infrastructure of the Belize Defence Force headquarters, so it has given our troops the opportunity to train in circumstances that are more can to what they might encounter in an overseas situation.?

Minister of Defence Vildo Marin says today?s gift demonstrates the close relationship enjoyed by the two countries.

Vildo Marin
?We also cooperate to try and stop the scourge of drugs on our societies. We are very grateful for the support that the United States has contributed to the organisational capacity of the Belize Coast Guard. On the sixteenth of February 2005, the United States Government donated a pursuit vessel to assist the nascent Belize National Coast Guard in patrolling Belize?s maritime space.?

The trucks are valued at five hundred and eight thousand U.S. dollars. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

The main security concern for the U.S. in Belize and the Caribbean involves the flow of drugs from South America through the region into the United States.

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