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Nov 27, 2019

85 New Coast Guard Officers, More Resources Needed

The largest intake of coast guard recruits to date passed out this morning and will be deployed to active duty forthwith.  It is part of an organizational strategy to grow the numbers of the Belize Coast Guard.  Notwithstanding the addition of more men and women to the ranks of the agency, there is a need for more resources to be expended to the coast guard to enable the continued work of maritime law enforcement.

 

Capt. Elton Bennett, Incoming Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“So today we graduated eighty-five recruits and two officer cadets.  They joined the fleet immediately.  They do one year as seaman apprentice, meaning they go under a senior petty officer and they work to develop their seamanship.  Because the recruitment training is only three months long, we don’t focus on enough seamanship.  So that one year of apprenticeship to really prepare them on the job training to become competent at what they do.”

 

Elton Bennett

Isani Cayetano

“How did the organization come about to have this as its biggest intake thus far, was it a particular drive or was it just that many people who were interested?”

 

Capt. Elton Bennett

“So the coast guard strategy calls for a seven hundred strong coast guard by 2020.  We fell behind a bit and the plan was to try to get up to seven hundred.  We’re not going to make it by 2020 so we’re increasing our numbers.  We don’t have the training facility so we tap into our resources from the B.D.F. and from BATSUB, in this case.  So it’s all dependent on the facilities that are available to us.  In this case, we train up at the British Army Training Grounds at the Price Barracks and they had more room so we could have more recruits, and as I mentioned, the end state is to really get up to seven hundred.”

 

Reporter

“How do you keep up with other forms of resources, vessels, vehicles and such?”

 

Capt. Elton Bennett

“That is the challenge indeed, and as I mentioned in my command philosophy, the challenge for me is really to balance that strategy, ensuring that our equipment and operating costs can match the resources that we have onboard.”


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