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Jul 31, 2006

B.D.F. receives training in working with civilians

Story PictureIt may not be as glamorous as jungle survival or hand to hand combat but the training currently underway for the B.D.F. may be just as important. For the second consecutive year the Belize Defence Force has teamed up with the United Kingdom’s Joint Task Force for a course in Civilian Military Cooperation or CIMIC principles. According to B.D.F. Commander Lloyd Gillett, the aim of this week’s session is to teach soldiers that there’s more to modern army life than fighting battles.

Brigadier General, Lloyd Gillett, Commander, B.D.F
?Well the military trains for war, but most of the time we operate on the lower end of the conflict spectrum you know, in peace time. In peace time there?s a lot of engagement that takes place between civilians and civilian organizations. So we have to be able to speak with them effectively and understand that a military solution is not always possible. We need the help of civilian organizations.?

Major Allan Edwards, British Army Trainer, UK Joint CIMIC Group
?We?ll be giving the students some theory, and we?ll be testing that theory in practical sessions. Then towards the end of the course there?s a morning and an afternoon exercise where civilian organizations will be coming on, and that will be held in this area. So they can expect, for example, tuition in negotiation skills, liaison skills, project management skills, and working with the media skills. Things that would not necessarily be a big part of a normal military curriculum, so we will be doing that, and the culmination will be an exercise at the end of the week.?

Some of the civilian organisations expected to participate include the Belize Red Cross, PAHO and the National Emergency Management Organisation.

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