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Dec 3, 2010

Belize Coastguard gets a place to call headquarters

The Belize National Coast Guard moved into its new home today. Its address is Mile four on the Western Highway, where the new headquarters sits ideally to keep watch on the territorial waters and the ever present threat of transnational narco-trafficking and other crimes. The new headquarters was built with the assistance from the US southern command and today the inauguration attracted from ministers to diplomats to officers of the Coast Guard. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Five years ago a few brave men enlisted to become members of an elite team of mariners that would form Belize’s third officially recognized law enforcement agency.  While their work is not as explicit as that of the police department they are nonetheless equally tasked with safeguarding the Jewel’s territorial sovereignty.  Despite being the new kids on the block the Belize National Coast Guard has been receiving tremendous assistance in its effort to combat transnational crimes, more specifically the flow of drugs through the waters of our country.  Today that outfit inaugurated its newly built headquarters near mile four and a half on the Western Highway.

john borland

John Borland, Captain, Belize Nat’l Coast Guard

“This state of the art facility will do wonders to approve our administration and operations.  It is the pride of the coastguard and perhaps the most significant achievement to date while there have been so many other significant events in our development.  In five years we have made some significant strides in growing our force in size, capacity, capability, competency and credibility.  We’ve even discarded of our army standard of drill and adopted the coastguard standards as you’ve witnessed here today.”

Along with taking on new ideals was the building of this multimillion dollar structure designed and engineered by members of the United States Southern Command which will serve as the head office for the BNCG’s operations countrywide.

Rear Admiral Steven Ratti, United States Southern Command J3

steven ratti

“It was, as Captain Borland mentioned, was funded through the Department of Defense’s counter drug program at a cost of about four million dollars Belize in addition to future jetty and pier project being constructed through the Brazil Coast Guard and I have it on good; or the Belize Coast Guard and I have it on good authority that it should be completed by the end of June.”

The project which is being undertaken in two phases will also see the construction of a berth to be used for the launching and maintenance of coastguard vessels during maritime operations.

John Borland

“This certainly is the beginning of our deepwater project.  The jetty will be constructed with enough room to maneuver a truck and trailer at the end with a ramp to launch and recover vessels.  It will accommodate four boats in the water and will be equipped with a jet dock to recover, service and repair vessels without bringing them on land.  It will also have sufficient space to berth an eighty-seven foot boat safely.”

With all the talks of modernizing its operations the Belize National Coast Guard is still but a fledgling agency with a recruitment of one hundred and twenty-one men and women.  Since its establishment in November 2005 it has been working diligently to set up outposts across the country, the first built on Calabash Caye in March of this year.

Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Nat’l Security

carlos perdomo

“When we have illegal fishing we work along with other maritime agencies like the Fisheries Department and the police to be out there so we are economic protectors of our resources.  Again sometimes we think that the coastguard is purely military.  It is not it is very civil and it is involved in the everyday life of the Belizean people and for that I would like to give them applause.”

The Belize National Coast Guard was stationed in Ladyville near the Philip Goldson International Airport where the change of command was handed over to Captain John Borland in 2009 before the organization found its permanent home near Belizean Beach. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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11 Responses for “Belize Coastguard gets a place to call headquarters”

  1. rootsman says:

    They look real good and disciplined in their uniforms and the building looks real nice and in a great location for the type of operation that will be performed there.
    Congratulations to the coast guard and I pray that you guys can keep your noses clean and be an example to the police force, the customs, the immigration and all the other branches in the government that corruption has found its way to.

  2. Congratulations says:

    Congratulations on the commissioning of your new base. Be firm but fair in the execution of your duties and the respect will peak.

    Sgt Jordan

  3. smg says:

    Congrats!. With that in place, can GOB have the DEA set up an office in Belize. This would enable the DEA to obtain the information they need to eradicate our Jewel of the drug king oins there. Also that would play a vital role in decreasing the CRIME there.

  4. Earl Grey says:

    AMERICA IS ACTING IN ITS OWN SELF INTEREST.

    Unless we ask for help with our local crime problem….. they will not help, BUT THEY CAN SET-UP SYSTEMS TO KEEP DRUGS FROM REACHING AMERICA…… the big sucking nose.

    TELL THEM WE NEED HELP FROM THE FBI TO COMBAT THE STREET CRIME EPIDEMIC…
    which would be a WIN – WIN for EVERYONE………..

  5. Proud Belizean says:

    Congrats to the Coast Guard indeed. Very good point about the FBI Earl Grey

  6. Plastix says:

    Its great that Belize has the Coast Guard now. I’d love to join the coast guard

  7. Iris says:

    wow… making Belize a better place …. we have to clean Belize…. I wanna Join the Coast Guard.. jut waiting for when the y need more recruitment so i can Join … i love it

  8. lookin good belize says:

    loki the idea. . . when will you guys start recruiting again. . . seems very interesting

  9. lookin good belize says:

    love the idea. . . when will you guys start recruiting again. . . seems very interesting

  10. Anonymos says:

    how can i join?

  11. Anonymos says:

    can anyone tell me how i can join?

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