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Aug 17, 2022

B.D.F. Air Wing in Need of Operational Aircrafts

The Belize Defense Force Air Wing is in need of new operational aircrafts. Established in 1993, many of its aircrafts have since been decommissioned. The number of aircrafts currently operational is insufficient, and so the Belize Defense Force is looking for a new fleet. But, an aircraft for military purposes does not come cheap. The United States Government is donating a Cessna Caravan in 2023 to track illicit flights, but that is only one airplane.  The Chief of Staff at the Belize Defense Force told us more.


Jermaine Burns

Jermaine Burns, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

“We are looking at trying to obtain new aircrafts. You would imagine that the aircraft we have are all nearing that point of where we need to write them off. The Air Wing started back in 1993 with the three Islanders and a Cessna that was donated by Mexico, and three Islanders from our British counterparts. One Islander remains. We are sourcing two engines for that and two propellers have recently been bought for that machine. When those engines have ran their time, which we calculate to be about five years that aircraft will be decommissioned. We have decommissioned a number of other aircraft over the years, starting from 2015. I was a commander of the Air Wing then and I remember the air wing and I remember decommissioning two. We have recently put in for the decommissioning of the Piper and the helicopters we are test flying the last UH1H we have. That is still good to go. It had a blade issue the other day, but you will see it flying pretty soon, within a week or so. It is test flying right now. But, we are looking for new aircraft. We have a donation coming in next year from the Americans in the form of a Cessna 208 Caravan, and that will be equipped with particular radar that is going to assist us in tracking those illicit flights in the night time.”



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