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Jan 13, 2016

Return of BATSUB Will Increase Revenue to the Country

David Jones

With the return of the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize, BATSUB, having been announced in October of last year, it is expected that the annual influx of British soldiers will bring much needed revenue to the country.  Similarly, the expansion of the Jungle Warfare Instructor Course to include military personnel from other countries should also see an increase in returns to the B.D.F.’s purse.  Brigadier General Jones told the media this morning that the exchange can be seen as a form of military tourism.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“In the past we’ve had European countries and also countries in CARICOM who attend our course.  We have Trinidad, Jamaica and some of the other smaller islands.  They traditionally send their students here in Belize to do training.  We have members from the Dutch, the Norwegian, French Guiana and even the Guyanese come in to do training here in Belize.  We’ve also had US forces who come in to do jungle training here.  In the past we’ve also had Mexicans and even Canadians and at one point we had two Guatemalan officers, I believe, who came in to do our jungle warfare instructor course in Belize.  With it being expanded to a more international arena it brings revenue to the economy and for the country.  When we provide a specific training package for a large number of troops, for example for the Germans, they would pay to have those troops train here.  That money would go to the government and that money can be used to assist the B.D.F. again, goes back to the B.D.F. to by the necessary resources and equipment.  This can be a very good income earner for the government and the B.D.F. in that we can gain revenue from training foreign forces here and not just the direct cash that they give, it also brings revenue to when they have to come and rent vehicles, pay for hotels, buy food and contribute directly to the local place around the village here and also in Belize City and other districts.  So it’s also sort of a military tourism as well for the B.D.F. in that we get a lot of foreign militaries who come into Belize, they do training here, they get to see parts of the country and it’s sort of a tourism package as well.  They get to like the country and when they eventually want to have a vacation or such they come back to Belize, not just for jungle training but for vacation as well.”

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