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Mar 24, 2016

Coast Guard Graduates 46

The eighth class of recruits of the Belize National Coast Guard graduated this morning at the Williamson Compound in Ladyville. The intake of forty-six trained for three months to prepare them to assume a military role. The seamen will take on a range of duties within the naval unit. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was on hand for the graduation.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The graduation of forty-six recruits, young men and women, to become sailors in the Belize National Coast Guard is the culmination of twelve weeks of rigorous training.  Of this class of seamen, five of them have excelled in various aspects of the beginners program.

 

Jaime Castillo

Jaime Castillo, Champion Recruit

“It was a challenge because they have some of my intake brothers who were a match to me but nevertheless I ended up at the top.  So I just kept working hard, stayed on the right pace just like everyone else but on different levels and standards.”

 

Since establishing itself as the third branch of Belize’s national security apparatus, the BNCG has graduated eight classes of recruits.

 

John Borland

Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander, BNCG

“By and large they get absorbed into the fleet to start doing operations in an apprenticeship role because remember, their first year they spend as seamen apprentices to get all the practical work and on the job training that they couldn’t get in twelve weeks of basic training which was basically for transforming them from a civilian into a military figure.”

 

That transformation has seen Champion Shot Leeford Meighan honing his skills in marksmanship to lead his intake.

 

Leeford Meighan

Leeford Meighan, Champion Shot

“Ever since I was a child growing up I used to go hunting with my cousin and I had always been accurate shooting at my target, so it just happened to be easy for me now.” 

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now applying that particular knowledge or skill set to this training where there is a higher expectation from your instructors, what was that like?”

 

Leeford Meighan

“Well, they teach me everything.  I listen to details, follow instructions and execute tasks that need to be executed and I excelled in the training.”

 

While they have completed entry level training, most of these apprentices will be assigned to various duties within the fleet.

 

Rear Admiral John Borland

“The vast majority of them will join the fleet because that is where the majority of the coast guard work takes place.  So it’s either into the fleet marines or into the engineers to become the boat mechanic.  Some of them will go into the communications specialist department and hull maintenance and fiberglass damage control and repair and that sort of stuff.  I think one or two of them have food specialist backgrounds so they might end up in the galley.”

 

The Belize National Coast Guard graduated its first cohort of marines in 2008 and has since been growing its numbers at a considerable pace. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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