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Oct 30, 2014

Belize Defense Force to Receive First Fleet of Helicopters

The press conference by the Ministry was called for two reasons – first to update on the forward operating base, which could classify as bad news, depending on how you look at it. But there is also good news. After years of analysis, discussion, and a steadily growing need, the government has an offer which is almost too good to refuse and the Belize Defence Force is preparing to receive its first fleet of helicopters. Through a Bell agent, G.O.B. is looking to purchase two Bell 206 helicopters to be used by the B.D.F. in enhancing border security and anti-crime activities in hard to reach areas.

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

John Saldivar

“Since BATSUB was downsized in 1994 and the helicopter support that they used to provide was pulled, the military in Belize has been faced with serious challenges to carry out its functions in the remote border regions. This has led the B.D.F. to make repeated submissions for the acquisition of this most needed asset over the years. When I took office of Minister of National Security, we revived this attempt to acquire helicopters and the prime minister and the National Security Council strongly supported this move. We were in discussions with the British, the U.S., the Canadians and the Taiwanese; however, none of these have borne fruit. Recently, the opportunity presented itself where we can now acquire these helicopters.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“What we’re looking at is a cost of four point one million dollars for two refurbished helicopters—a smaller one and a bigger one. I’ve been assured by the general and the Minister of National Security—we just completed a National Security Council meeting this morning—I had already grilled the C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, but that information that was provided to me was analysed critically this morning by the NSC. I am satisfied that subject to one final effort that will complete our comprehensive review of the air-worthiness, if you will, of these assets, I am satisfied that subject to that, this is in fact a good deal. Nobody can doubt the need for helicopters and as I said only reason that we have been detained so long in acquiring helicopters is because of the prohibitive price. Of course, since I first asked the general to pursue this matter, government coffers have naturally been bulged by among other things, the Petrocaribe funds and we are therefore in a happy position to be able to do now all sorts of things for the good people of Belize that we were not able to do only just two short years before now.”

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2 Responses for “Belize Defense Force to Receive First Fleet of Helicopters”

  1. Steve D says:

    Any chance of arming those suckers with some surface to ground missles and toasting about 3 miles of Guat territory?

  2. Luis Latorre says:

    The purchase of used helicopters is totally ridicoulous at a high price, Mr. Prime Minister you could buy a fleet of Robinsons R-44 or R-66 …..easy to operate and maintain is a no brainer….

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