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Jul 8, 2011

B.D.F. volunteer hone skills at Battle Camp

Belize Defense Force volunteers assist the B.D.F on a daily basis with routine work and also provide an invaluable service alongside commissioned soldiers. The volunteers are called out to serve their country in hurricanes and times of conflict. So their preparedness to respond is critical, which is why every year the volunteers gather at Camp Belizario to undergo training at the annual Volunteer Battle Camp. News Five’s Andrea Polanco joined the volunteer unit and found them in action.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Two hundred and twenty three Belize Defense Force Volunteers underwent one week of training at annual Battle Camp. Major Felix Enriquez says that this year’s instructions focused on a particular area:

Major Felix Enriquez: Commander, B.D.F. Volunteer Battalion

Felix Enriquez

“This year’s battle camp is focused on internal security with emphasis on crowd control with civil disorder. Riot drill is a novelty to us because it is not practiced often by the B.D.F. on internal security.”

Today the volunteers demonstrated the new skills acquired in the week of training:

Major Felix Enriquez

“The first scenario that you saw was a search where in that scenario in a case where we will be called to assist the police in a searching of an area. First of all secure the ear and then search it and capture whoever needs to be captured there. In the second scenario it’s a riot and we get a riot squad out doing the basic riot drills as we have seen in live cases up in Orange Walk and Belmopan in past months.”

S. August

But training was no easy task for these volunteers. Both the men and women say that it was rigorous but it’s all worth it:

Lance Corporal S. August, Volunteer Battalion

“Training was rough, I won’t lie but I enjoyed every moment of it. It enhanced my physical and all that I could put into it. And out here as you can see the weather condition is really rough, the sun is hot. In the evening time it rains. It’s pretty much like I could say rough.”

Andrea Polanco

“Did you find a particular area in the training challenging for you being a woman in this?”

Lance Corporal S. August

“Yes, I did but I overcome it with will power.”

Andrea Polanco

“Which area was that?”

Lance Corporal S. August

“Drills because it takes a lot in the sun yuh know standing and yuh feet, yuh feet have to be strong. Once yuh have foot problem it’s a no-go for being out there.”

Lance Corporal J. Trapp, Volunteer Battalion

J. Trapp

“The roughest part umm was the riot drills that’s the roughest part for me.”

Andrea Polanco

“Which aspect of the training would you say you enjoyed the most?”

Corporal A. Magana, Volunteer Battalion

“The riot drills that we just accomplished.”

Andrea Polanco

“Any particular reason?”

A. Magana

Corporal A. Magana

“Aaah because of the motivated part of it because you have to have motivation on you so that you can carry on.”

But they made it through the week successfully and C.E.O. in the Ministry of Defense and Immigration says he’s impressed:

Allen Whylie, C.E.O., Ministry of Defense and Immigration

“It was very informative. I think that the demonstration I saw, the officers displayed a high degree or level of capability. I was well surprised in terms of the riot drills, the movements and the different formations that I saw so I am pleased with what I saw today.”

Allen Whylie

Annually the Battle Camp is held for two weeks but this year due to financial constraints and low recruit intake, the group is down to half its normal size. But the volunteers say nothing has changed.

Corporal A. Magana

“No actually wasn’t easier. You just have to put everything to it and then things will not come out easier but much better. We practice and then we get it accomplished with no problem.”

Lance Corporal J. Trapp

“We do foot drills, w do classes, we do first aid, and we do map reading.”

Andrea Polanco

“For you personally, do you think it was a lot to handle?”

Lance Corporal S. August

“It was I won’t say no lie. Everyone had their fair share.”

But are they prepared for more than this simulation training?

Lance Corporal S. August

“Yes, because we have good instructors and apart from that we our selves try to learn how to prepare other people, teach them whatever we know so that they could get a good knowledge when they come out here.”

Corporal A. Magana

“Of course, of course we’ll actually do our best to accomplish our mission.”

Training like this one is necessary, Whylie says because the volunteer battalion is an integral part of the B.D.F.:

Allen Whylie

“We recognize that the volunteers have played a valuable service to the B.D.F., as well as support to the nation. They’ve always been there providing the additional human resources that the B.D.F. is lacking at times. They are also available to be called out in times of emergency by the Governor General.”

Major Felix Enriquez

“We also use this opportunity to do our drills, pass our annual tests, our basic fitness tests, our annual personal fitness tests, our skill at arm test and first aid test.”

On Saturday the Volunteer Battalion will hold their passing out ceremony and return to regular training at their site locations countrywide. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

With the hurricane season now in effect, the volunteers can be expected to spring into action if the need arises.

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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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3 Responses for “B.D.F. volunteer hone skills at Battle Camp”

  1. Roy Yates says:

    Skills of battle? (Joke) to defend BTL for Borrow and his useless bunch.

  2. islander says:

    OKKKKK So the BDF volunteers are preparing to attack the Belizean citizenry at the command of Dean Barrow… NOT COOL BDF

    I wish you were on the side of the PEOPLE and pull off a Honduras before this dictator gets worst

  3. Flores love says:

    Yo quisiera k esten alla atras de ese shield y k los estubiran apedriando y palos para k vean lo k se siente! Belive me, its nothing nice beimg behind that shield

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