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Jul 18, 2011

Final chopper of BATSUB leaves the country

The announcement that BATSUB would be significantly downsized came late last year and since then, troops have returned to Britain, Belizean employees have been laid off and the British army terminated the use of its helicopters for medical emergencies. Last Friday, the final British helicopter left the country and the British Forces news filed this report, closing another chapter as the downsizing process continues.

Thirty-nine years of Army Aviation history have drawn to a close in Belize, with the final flight from a Bell 212 helicopter from 25 Flight Army Air Corps.

25 Flight are there to support BATSUB, the British Army Jungle Training Unit, but Army helicopters have been in the skies over the dependency since 1972, and before that the RAF.

Today though marks the latest chapter in the drawdown of British forces in Belize.

Dave Roberts

Major Dave Roberts, OC 25 Flight AAC

“It’s been an excellent way to finish my career and one of the best postings I’ve ever had from an aviation perspective and to be able to command during the last posting, which is highly unusually for an officer of my advanced years.”

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11 Responses for “Final chopper of BATSUB leaves the country”

  1. REGGIE says:

    IS THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE SLEEPING?HE SHOULD HAVE TRY AND GET A HELICOPTER FROM THE BRITISH FORCES BEFFORE THEY LEAVE.IT IS A NEED FOR THE BDF.HOW DOES THIS GOB THING ?MUST BE WITH THE WRONG HEAD.DAMN THEY SHOW NO KIND OF SUPPORT FOR THE MILITARY.AFTER 32 YRS. THE DEFENCE FORCE STILL DON’T HAVE THE TOOLS TO WORK WITH.GUESS BDF HAVE TO MAKE UP SOME SING SAY BELIZE TURF. THAT WILL HELP YOU GUYS..MAYBE THE GUAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY ARE IN THE BELIZE.

  2. DUTIED CITIZEN says:

    The issue is Belizeans must now make a public appeal to the Government to fill the Gap in a sustainable manner. This is one of the biggest border security, medical, crime reduction and disaster response loss to Belize. Monies from the next Oil ventures in Belize must improve health and defence security of Belize. If not we will pay a serious price for long years to come. The Ministry of Defence need to commission a review on the security loss from the absence of BATSUB in Belize and how the losses can be off set in the immediate and longer term scenarios. This is a serious risk to national defence security that Belize faces. Those individuals, organizations and states that pose low, medium and high threats to Belize safety and security are already exploiting this weakness. If this situation is not adequately addressed the repercussions will be devastating. If you do not participate in the effort to address this matter it will come to past and haunt you. The interchangeable and intertwined stands of the rope vital to national survival and development are Health, Security, Education, Economy and Politics. Failure in the area of Economy and Security will stall, stop or regress national development with dire consequences. Security is one area we must get right. We need to revamp the entire MOD staff, structure and system including the Police. They have outlived their usefulness. They may have functioned under the old British system but they do not function any longer. It will me more evident with the departure of BATSUB. We have no choice now but to pen the appropriate literature on what it takes to make a secure Belize. Circulation will be very limited to those who need to know and are willing to do some thing about it.

  3. Gadfly says:

    Who would fly the helicopter? Who would conduct maintainance? Who would pay for the upkeep, fuel, housing and other matters attendant to the ownership of a helicopter?

  4. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why arn’t Belizean Citizens being trained in fields like aviation?Why havn’t the Government sent qualified BDF soldiers overseas to train in these fields?The Brits are not always going to be around to babysit us.These are some of the things that this PM should be focusing on.How long have the brits been in Belize?There should have been preparation in place.we all know that this day would come.It’s like waiting for Mario Estrada to die for us to realize that we’re in need of more pathologist.Common sense seems to be really scarce among the leaders of this country.

  5. edward says:

    what the minister needs be doing is start sending the BDF at a rotation basis to the UK to study how to fly the helicopter. after all where is all the money from the oil they been shipping out of Belize? I think is high time we start looking at the real interest of our security. on the other hand we have Venezuela, Honduras,Cuba just to name a few that our army guys could go to train. if we go to look at it Guatemala has its own air defense it also has pilots that can fly the helicopter so why cant we when we are a British nation still under their law?. i think its high time that the Government start doing something before its too late. another idea is to have our neighbouring countries come in to train our soldiers in Belize. I wish to see something done ASAP from the government .ALL THIS PETTY STUFF TRYING TO SANCTION THE SPORTING INTEREST OF THE NATION IS IRRELEVANT. WE HAVE bigger issues dealing with such as crime and security.

  6. oscar965 says:

    Thanks Batsub for the great work you did while in Belize, especially in the medical field where your chopper saved many lives. Not every town and city has a hospital in this country so your sevices were much appreciated. No politics in this blog..just a simple THANK YOU for all the lives saved…

  7. Benqueno says:

    To Gadlfy; GOB is the body to look after the Security of the state and its people, but for the moment in time, GOB is more focus on the take over of Utilities where its spending millions in damages done,,,this is a crime they are fighting within themselves….and for the moment they have forgotten in the protection and combating organized crime in a whole; lets just wait until we see some decapitated people in the country by the drug cartels, until then i believe they will react instead of thinking proactively…hey its Belize remember,, the money that they should be wisely spending on the security of the state is the money they use to change/buy their latest model vehicles on a yearly basis they use for their families…..they don’t care if border Police have vehicles to combat cross border criminal activities…our borderline is wide and open to be exploited by organize crimes…but yet their is Jeffries the Commissioner speaking only about Belize City and that P.G. is the safest place to live…well if its safe go their Jeffries…The BDF and Police are not prepared for any type of combat…farmers scares the $#!@% out of them…imagine…for 32 years!!!!!…Whether the UDP or PUP nobody gives a $#!% if the Police or BDF are prepare for modern type of criminal activities…PUP worst…

  8. Maris says:

    I hear wonderful story when my dad was a kid .. A special thank to the British troop for all the hard work they did in the country of Belize …!! Memories will stay of your helicopter flying over Belize whether in case of emergency , rescues !! or defending Belize from invaders !!! No comments ref: Politics ….

    Thank you again British troops for the lives saved … memories of will stay to remind that you all made Belize your home for so many years !!!

  9. wbgbelize says:

    Thanks but no thanks. After robbing all our fine woods, and now oil, you are packing up your bum and leaving. Please dont come back slave masters…thank you i am now a Belizean American. All left in Belize is poverty and corrupt government. no jobs or future for our kids because of our uneducated politicians and rule of government(British influence laws) …The drug lords already owns the Prime Minister and our territory is defenceless. I love my country but God need a miracle to save us from our very own people full of greed and riches. Give the wealth of our rich country to its poor people!!!! Its time for the corrupt government to stop stealing the peoples money and spend it on their security, jobs, infrastructure, etc.

  10. Robert2 says:

    @wbgbelize, You have pretty much covered the problem.

  11. gilbert says:

    Dutied citizen, BATSUB LEAVING IS NOT A LOSS OF SECURITY OK

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