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Feb 1, 2013

Brigadier General David Jones now in charge of B.D.F.

David Jones

Before assuming his new post as Brigadier General, Lieutenant Colonel David Jones, gained much public recognition for his expertise as an explosive specialist when grenades first became a real threat on Belize City streets. And with the rank just bestowed, Jones has taken up the reins as Brigadier General Dario Tapia who leaves on retirement. Today Price Barracks was packed with government officials, military personnel, foreign dignitaries and well-wishers who were on hand to celebrate the B.D.F.’s thirty-fifth anniversary, the changing of the command and the passing out of a new recruit intake. News Five was there and freelance reporter Mike Rudon files this story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today’s ceremony celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Belize Defense Force had all the traditional pomp and ceremony, but it was especially significant as there was a changing of the guard today. The power to command was passed from Brigadier General Dario Tapia to newly promoted Brigadier General David Jones.

 

Brigadier General David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“It’s a very special feeling. It is something that I’ve been looking forward to from a young age. I’ve worked at the lowest level and now I am at the top. I have a lot of ideas and now I have the authority and permission to carry them forward; what I would like to see the direction of the force goes. We are doing well, but there is a lot of room for improvement and I’m at the position where I can make those improvements now.”

 

The B.D.F. is generally tasked with keeping security on the borders, but is now asked to perform additional duties patrolling Belize City to assist in maintaining law and order. Today Jones told us that he recognizes those challenges and others facing the B.D.F.

 

Brigadier General David Jones

“The biggest challenge now is the scourge that we are seeing surfacing along the border with narco-trafficking. Particularly close to the Mexican border with Guatemala, there is a lot of evidence that there is more narco-trafficking happening there. We need to work closer with our regional partners—particularly Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. And the U.S. Army is working closely with us; the Canadians are working with us. And we are just cooperating more because there is a lot more need for intelligence gathering and there is a lot more need for capacity building and getting the B.D.F. ready. We have a lot ahead of us; there is a lot of challenges ahead, but we are ready and poised to meet those challenges.”

 

Jones has served the B.D.F. for twenty-five years. He takes over from Brigadier General Dario Tapia, who has been Commander of the B.D.F. for the past four years. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

The gathering was also treated to anti narco-trafficking displays by the Special Assignments Group and mock battles by officer of the B.D.F., complete with explosions and a low-flying Defender providing air support.

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3 Responses for “Brigadier General David Jones now in charge of B.D.F.”

  1. blackberry says:

    It is time for the BDF to increase patrol along the western border. February is the month when incursions increase by Guatemalans milpa farmers who crosses over into Belize to clear large tracks of land along the border in preparation for planting of corn and beans when the first rains come in May.

  2. ceo says:

    Tilapia is gone; good!

  3. Storm says:

    Blackberry for Brigadier!

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