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Jan 20, 2016

Late Christmas for B.D.F.—UH1H Helicopters Finally Here

David Jones

After an announcement made in August 2014, a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters, to complement the B.D.F.’s existing fleet of aircrafts, has arrived in Belize. The generous donation is from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Since the withdrawal of British troops several years ago, the Belize Defense Force has been without air support.  But in August 2015, the government confiscated a helicopter in the Blue Creek community in Orange Walk and handed it over to the B.D.F. And tonight, there are two more to add to the fleet. On Tuesday afternoon, Brigadier General David Jones was informed that a shipment of containers carrying the unassembled aircrafts had landed at the Port of Belize.  The arrival of the two military helicopters precedes that of a team of engineers and pilots that is tasked with assembling and flying the choppers.  As part of the B.D.F.’s 2016 schedule, these much needed aircrafts will assist in conducting aerial surveillance and operations along Belize’s borders with Guatemala.  The helicopters, once test-flown successfully will be handed over to the Government of Belize and the Belize Defense Force in March.  During the B.D.F.’s annual review last Wednesday, Commander Jones spoke about the need for air support.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F. [File: January 14th, 2016]

“You all are fully aware of the aircraft that landed in Belize, the Bell 407 helicopter that landed in August, the sixth of August or so, found in the area of Blue Creek and this aircraft was flown by our pilots from Blue Creek to the Williamson Hangar Complex.  This aircraft has been acquired by the Government of Belize and has now been handed over to the Belize Defense Force so it is now in our arsenal.  We have control over this helicopter now and we’ve been doing test runs on it and ensure it’s maintained.  We intend to use it for future operations.  Helicopter training will be a big thing for us this year because we expect to get in the other two UH1H helicopters, actually on Monday.  This coming Monday those two helicopters are expected to be in Belize.  We will finalize between two contractors we’re looking at now to decide which one of them will provide the training, the helicopter training for our pilots.  We already have the Bell, so this year, 2016, we expect to have three helicopters up and running.  So operations will be more decisive and more deliberate and even more successful with the coming in of and having three helicopters in the Belize Defense Force.”

 

The helicopters will be transported from the Port of Belize to the Williamson Hangar Complex in Ladyville by the end of the week.

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1 Response for “Late Christmas for B.D.F.—UH1H Helicopters Finally Here”

  1. Rod says:

    I can bet anyone these expensive planes will be rushing away in no time flat even the parts will be stolen.

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