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Oct 13, 2017

Belize’s Defenders Talk to International Strategic Partners

A week ago, the Ministry of Defense hosted the third annual multi-national security conference in Belize City. The purpose of the conference was to share Belize’s vision, work and needs on military assistance with our allies and partners. The conference emphasized security cooperation and military capacity building for the Belize Defense Force, Belize Coast Guard, and the Joint Intelligence Operations Centre.  High level military delegations from Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. were in attendance.  Here’s a look at how that went.

 

Felix Enriquez

Felix Enriquez, C.E.O., Ministry of Defense

“The most important thing is the partnership that we have with our various military partners in order to counter all the threats that we are facing in the region. So, we get a chance to discuss all the emerging threats and how our partners can assist us with that.”

 

Michael McGovern

Brigadier Michael McGovern, Deputy Commander, London District, UK

“For the UK and British Army, Belize is particularly important. We conduct the most arduous training that we conduct in the world here in the jungles of the world. That is something we value highlight. Because of the access and the support provided to Belize, we try to pay back by military capacity building work predominantly by sending short term training teams to Belize to work with the BDF and Coast Guard.  We believe for example, in an era where the basic skills of an infantry soldier are paramount to our ability to fight, the best place we feel to train is in the jungle and that has been born out over many years in terms of the impact and the progress of individual soldiers make in a short time by coming to Belize.”

 

Elton Bennett

Commander Elton Bennett, Belize Coast Guard

“Looking back at what we’ve achieved over the past year and looking back at the conference last year, on the scale of what we have achieved last year, I think we achieved about eight out of ten in terms of training and capacity development. These are operational people. Yes, there is an element of strategy to it but we are in a position to make sure things happen and for us to be able to follow through, I think we have the right set of people at the table.”

 

Stephen Ortega

Col. Stephen Ortega, Acting Commander, B.D.F.

“By the end of this conference we should have formalize more or less who will produce what resource, what capability, what capacity, what we will get from each country and what Belize needs to produce as well.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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