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Jan 21, 2016

2 New Patrol Boats for National Coast Guard

The Belize National Coast Guard, along with growing its strength in numbers, is also looking to expand its fleet of naval vessels.  On Wednesday, it was announced that the maritime law enforcement agency will procure a pair of patrol boats through a loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.  The CABEI loan, as it is called, will allow the Ministry of National Security to upgrade a number of facilities and acquire other assets across all branches of law enforcement.  The Sea Axe Class vessels are considerably larger than the Boston Whalers currently in use by the coast guard and will allow for wider coverage of Belizean waters.  While Belize is in talks with Mexico to acquire both ships, no date has been set for their procurement.

 

John Borland

Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander, BNCG

“Of major significance also was the signing of the CABEI loan agreement by the Government of Belize which will now allow the Belize [National] Coastguard to undertake perhaps its most significant capital project by acquiring two future large patrol crafts in the form of two 30-07 Sea Axe Class patrol boats.  This is huge in shaping the future coast guard, as it gives us a capability never imagined in the conduct of maritime and naval operations to the limits of our seas spaces and across the region.  This picture serves to depict where the coast guard came from and where we are at.  How we evolved, how our fleet evolved and how we intend to take the coast guard into the future to 2020 and beyond. We are in discussions with the Mexicans.  As I mentioned earlier it is under the CABEI loan agreement where the coast guard has been allocated a significant portion of that loan for exactly what I said, the acquisition of two future large patrol crafts in the form of two 30-07 Sea Axe patrol boats.  30-07 simply means the vessel is thirty meters long, which is a hundred feet and seven meters wide, its beam is twenty-one feet.  We are, as you say, in discussions with our Mexican counterparts and also with the Americans to see where we will come up with the best possible option of acquiring these platforms for the best bang for our bucks, as we would say.  Those vessels, as you know, will be national security cutters.  They will be multitasked, multipurpose, multi-missioner cutters that would enable the coast guard to really extend its operations beyond the territorial seas to the extent of our exclusive economic zone into the continental shelf and even regionally.”

 

A portion of the CABEI loan has also been earmarked for the renovation of the B.D.F. headquarters at Price Barracks.

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