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Aug 31, 2018

79 Seamen Apprentices Join the Belize Coastguard

The Belize Coastguard is recording its largest number growing from strength to strength in its thirteenth year history. Today, just under eighty new members joined its ranks which have swollen to four hundred and fifty. The new recruits graduated in a ceremony also attended by proud family members at the Coastguard headquarters in Belize City. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The largest group of recruits, from intake number nine, officially joined the coastguard today at a graduation ceremony held at its compound off mile four on the George Price Highway. Seventy-nine men and women successfully completed twelve weeks of arduous training that tested their fitness, swimming skills and endurance.

 

John Borland

Admiral John Borland, Commandant, Belize Coastguard

“That takes the coastguard strength to four hundred and fifty. As you remember thirteen years ago, we started with forty soldiers and ten police officers and this is where we are today. So it is a tremendous achievement in the history and development of the coastguard as a part of our fifteen-year strategy plan that we are working on. Right now we are in the third year of the long term plan which expires in 2020. So that takes us to a strategic review and then future plans to developing the future coastguard.”

 

Keynote speaker, C.E.O. Felix Enriquez, says it demonstrates the commitment to build the institutional capacity of the coastguard and in fulfilling the goals of the coastguard’s long term strategy.

 

Felix Enriquez

Felix Enriquez, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“Congratulations on successfully completing the coastguard basic training, congratulations on your promotion to the rank of seaman apprentice; congratulations on achieving this personal goal that will benefit you, as well as your family and of course your family. Today we salute you. This event demonstrates that you have shown determination that is required to be successful in the Belize Coastguard. You have survived twelve weeks of applied military training—training that is designed to transform you from a civilian into a military personnel.”

 

Following the ceremony, the recruits put off a demonstration for the invited guests and their family members who were in attendance. They partook in an obstacle course, showcased their shooting skills and even an arms display. Five of the recruits received awards.

 

Admiral John Borland

“Traditionally we give the awards for the best physical fitness, the best swimmer, the best shot, the best female and the competition among the female in the training evolutions that we’ve performed has always been fierce. And then last but not the least, the champion recruit, who is the best overall in the course.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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