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Aug 29, 2005

Young coast guard seeks help from U.S.

Belize’s newly created Coast Guard is in need of resources and last week a high level delegation travelled to Washington looking for help. Minister of Home Affairs Ralph Fonseca and Coast Guard Commander Cedric Borland held talks with officials of the U.S. State Department, Department of Defence and U.S. Coast Guard. They were accompanied by the U.S. Embassy’s military liaison officer, Lieutenant Colonel David Treleaven. According to a Belize Government Press release, the response was positive and the U.S. Coast Guard will be making an assessment of Belize’s five year Coast Guard development plan with an eye to assist. The plan focuses on activities to fight drug trafficking, illegal immigration and terrorism, while protecting marine resources and promoting safety at sea. Inland waters will be patrolled from bases in Belize City and Big Creek, while operations along and outside the reef will be handled from forward bases at Hunting and Calabash cayes. During the visit, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Commander Borland and U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commandant, Admiral Terry Cross, which provides for two Belizeans to participate in training aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Gentian, which is stationed in the Caribbean.

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