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Apr 14, 2016

Helicopters Gifted to B.D.F. are Being Assembled at Price Barracks

Benjamin Ho

In January 2015, the Government of Taiwan publicly announced that it will be gifting the Government two helicopters that are required to expand Belize’s military training program. That announcement was followed with the arrival in July of a team of seven mechanics from Taiwan to ensure that the B.D.F. air wing had the equipment and space to accommodate the two fourteen-seat helicopters. Well all is proceeding well and the first of the two U-H-One-H helicopters has been assembled and test-flown. We spoke with the Ambassador of Taiwan, Benjamin Ho, about the donation.

 

H.E. Benjamin Ho, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“The donation of two UH1H helicopters from my government started from the day when I came the second time as ambassador of Belize. I was privileged to have a meeting with the prime minister and he mentioned to me that since October of 2014 that Belize is going to have a Jungle Special Training School and that the project has been accepted with other allies such as America, Canada and the UK and they agreed to help. But to have that school, the condition was that the country should have a helicopter for medical evacuation. But your country did not have that kind of helicopter. So he asked if I can ask my government to make the donation of one helicopter. When I came here, I did understand that Belize has been soliciting the helicopter from my government and it didn’t materialize. So I did talk with our high ranking officials in the Ministry of Defense and they promised to relay this information. And by January the next year, 2015 I got the news. Only one helicopter the prime minister asked for, but my government promised to give two. The two are Behr UH1H. This one, UH1H is the most used by many countries; these are also used by the army in my country. When they got here, my country sent another team of experts including two pilots on the fifth of this month. They are staying here and that’s why you heard about the test flying. They already assembled the first one in less than two weeks and they began testing the first one. I think the second one will be even faster so it is good news.”

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