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Feb 4, 2013

B.D.F. day; a family success

The Belize Defense Force celebrated the changing of the guard as Commander Dario Tapia handed over the reins of power to Brigadier General David Jones. In Friday’s newscast, we showed you the ceremony, pageantry and protocol inherent in such significant events. But what would a B.D.F. bash be without a display of its military might, including the low-flying Defender in full war mode with weapons blazing? Here’s a look back at the B.D.F.’s big day.

 

Carla Bradley, Reporting

As far as military milestones and matters of historical significance go, Friday’s event at Price Barracks will likely be remembered as the day when the power of command was handed over from Brigadier General Dario Tapia to a man considered a rising star in the ranks of the B.D.F., Brigadier General David Jones. Both men have served the B.D.F. will distinction during careers spanning a quarter of a century. That thirty-five year old military body now prepares to enter a new era in its service, with new responsibilities and duties.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“The future of the B.D.F. cannot be separated from the general social conditions of the realities that our people are currently facing. We are at a time in our history when our murder count is at its highest—more than forty-four per hundred thousand—and the fact that crime and violence is the single most element that threatens our national security and citizen security. The B.D.F. structure, its roles and responsibilities will certainly have to be reviewed to deal with this threat.”

 

And those new duties and responsibilities will take effect in the very near future.

 

John Saldivar

“2013 will see the creation of a new forward observation post along the northern border and a conservation post along the western border. The manning of the joint operation center will also take place in 2013. This will aid in the fight against crime; in being more efficient in the coordination of our law-enforcement entities.”

 

And if there was any doubt that the B.D.F. can handle the new challenges, those doubts were put somewhat at rest with a mock display by the B.D.F.’s newest blood, the recently formed Special Assignments Group, which staged a mock-battle against narco-traffickers.

 

From mock battles to real fitness and agility, the young recruits of the B.D.F. demonstrated some of the training which is their daily regimen as they prepare to serve on the force.

 

And then it was back to the big boys of the B.D.F., as they carried out a war-time engagement complete with heavy arms, explosives and air support with weapons blazing.

 

As the B.D.F. celebrates thirty-five years of service, the message is that they are ready for duty and equipped with training and skills to get the job done. Carla Bradley for News Five.

 

In a significant addendum to this story, Minister of National Security John Saldivar claimed that discussions are ongoing for the re-deployment of British troops to Belize. The British Army Training Support Unit closed its doors and pulled out its troops at the end of 2011. So any word on them returning to Belize is significant news.

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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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1 Response for “B.D.F. day; a family success”

  1. Storm says:

    As many problems as we have elsewhere in Belize, I think BDF — although not perfect — may be the best institution we have in terms of competence and integrity. I’m grateful for them all.

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