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Aug 30, 2012

U.S. Southern Command and Embassy gives $4.5 Million in equipment

As the US Southern Command visited the Coastguard on Wednesday, a bale of cocaine was retrieved from the Turneffe Atolls. The visit by the Southern Command, however, had to do with the transfer of millions of dollars of sophisticated equipment including vessels and vehicles to both the BDF and Coastguard. It is a contribution by the United States government in the fight against the transnational trafficking of drugs and other organized crime. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Southern Command handed over equipment and supplies valued over four point five million dollars to the Belize Defence Force and the Belize Coast Guard.  U.S. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally indicated of the importance of the equipment to battle crime.

 

Vinai Thummalapally

Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“The United States and regional leaders believe that this invest will yield major long-term security progress in our region and will enable the government of Belize to address transnational threats such as terrorism and illicit trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs and merchandise. As part of this transfer, the Belize Coast Guard will receive: two Boston whalers; thirty-seven foot justice patrol boats which you just saw demonstrated a few minutes ago. One of them scared me; the one of the left. Two Ford F40 trucks and a variety of items such as: night vision goggles, body armor, ballistic helmets and so on. Belize Defence Force will receive among other items, one Ford F440 truck, nine ranger all terrain vehicles, two jet propulsion river boats and seven Jeep J7 tactical mobility vehicles. While the equipment is absolutely essential, in seven short years, the Belize Coast Guard has grown into a remarkable institution serving not only Belize’s national interests, but also those of the region. In addition to providing national security, BCG plays a critical role in civilian matters. Last year they responded to over one hundred distress calls from civilian boats and ordinary citizens. Rain or shine, Belizeans can count on their Belize Coast Guard. You make us proud to be your partner.”

 

Elton Bennett

After the commissioning which took a few tries, the champagne bottles were broken and the Boston Whaler and Safe Boats went on a boarding demonstration of a fishing vessel.

 

Lt. Comm. Elton Bennett, Ag. Commandant, Belize Coastguard

“What you are about to see is a boarding demonstration that is conducted by the boarding officer instructor course and the course is comprised of members of the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize .Defence Force Boat Unit and members of the Police Anti-Drug Unit. The course is being conducted by members of the United States’ Coast Guard. It is a two-weeks program and we are doing a lot of underway and boarding officer training.”

 

George Lovell

The speed on the vessels are as much as fifty knots, and media colleague, Aaron Humes, was literally floored by the speed.

 

Lt. Col. George Lovell (Ret’d), C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“It increases our capacity to combat the threats that we have out there. As you note recently, we had a number of incidents on our seas where some of our locals were robbed. We had the incidents with the unfortunate incident of Belizeans being killed up in northern San Pedro; there was a shooting that just recently took place in that same location. Just yesterday, our Coast Guard came up with one bail of believed to be cocaine that they discovered off the atolls and there have been repeated reports coming into our offices suggesting that there is an increase of drugs and activities along our seas. With this in mind, we now need to refocus of efforts in terms of the whole anti-drug efforts and we see a shirt to maritime-type operations. The two vessels that are being commissioned will help us to build that capacity.”

 

Douglas Fraser

General Douglas Fraser, Commander of U.S. Southern Command

“I represent the partnership that we share in addressing the common problems that we all face. This afternoon’s ceremony reflects the important spirit of friendship, cooperation and partnership our nations have enjoyed. We have a long history of working together to build capabilities, strengthened our operability and address shared concerns. Transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking and natural disasters are some of the examples of regional security challenges to both our nations, as well as, many other nations in the region and show where when we work together we are much better than when we work separately. As a committed security partner, Belize has worked alongside the United States and the United States alongside Belize and the region to support important missions that have had an impact both inside and outside the borders of Belize.”

 

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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5 Responses for “U.S. Southern Command and Embassy gives $4.5 Million in equipment”

  1. Uncle Benji says:

    Yawn. Not impressed.

    Clear the land, build a training school with wharves and supply Belize with helicopters, new sensor technology, shipboard technology, cutters, small arms and gun boats.

    Belizeans speak English (better than Americans) . Train them to have a coast guard school of such caliber, that other Central American nations come to Belize for their sea fare training. Now, that would be impressive.

  2. Rod says:

    Uncle benji your right but it won’t happen with this ambassador we have he only know how to pass out ballons.

  3. Swamp Dragon says:

    Thank you US!

  4. granduncle benjaminz says:

    Unkle Benji, you silly bad. who wah fly the helicopter. we no have money. Why try to beat down every positive thing that happen in this country. y everybody have to be negative.

  5. Soulja says:

    Uncle Benji n all you hypocrites yes the US tries and help Belize don’t even start with your bs at least we try. What the heck did England, Tiwanese, doing for Belize but blood sucking like cashew and when they done leave us worst off than they found us. If it was’nt for the US, Belize would have shriveled up and DIED(pls be For Real) check MoneyGram-Western Union and see how much money is sent back home. And most of you harass your relatives on a daily bases, like Lord Rayborn song Send Me Dis/Send Me Dat. As a Retired Soldier of the US Military we do more before 7am Than Most People Do All Day!!! and we’re on duty 24hrs. a day even when we’re off work,on leave. Stop complaining and stop rubbing your gums and do something about the situation.

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