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Oct 20, 2022

U.S. Embassy Donates Five Heavy Duty Military Trucks to the B.D.F.

Today, the Belize Defence Force expanded its fleet of vehicles when it was officially handed five heavy duty military trucks. The donation from the U.S. Government is to the tune of one point two-five million Belize dollars. The gift will strengthen Belize’s capacity for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and border security. A brief ceremony was held at Price Barracks this morning and News Five’s Duane Moody reports.  


Duane Moody, Reporting

Shoulder to Shoulder, the United States government has been working along with Belize’s law enforcement agencies and military to build their capacities. Annually, through its Foreign Military Financing Program, support would be provided and today, the B.D.F. was the recipient of five rugged and powerful military trucks designed for extreme road dependability and for various operations.


Leyla Moses-Ones

Leyla Moses-Ones, Chargé d’affaires, U.S. Embassy (Belize)

“We are really proud of this latest donation that’s come under the Foreign Military Financing Program. This is part of a total of one point six million dollar donation in the last year. This will provide a mobility platform for the Belize Defence Force to mobilize their troops to deploy wherever is needed and however it is needed. It is also an important component of interoperability as we exercise jointly to meet natural disasters and border security challenges jointly.”


B.D.F. Acting Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Jermaine Burns says that in 2020, they had received six trucks, but those have been aged and are in need of repairs, so the donation is welcomed. He shares details on the deployment of the new assets.


Jermaine Burns

Lt. Col. Jermaine Burns, Acting Chief of Staff, Belize Defence Force

“We have been stretched thin in terms of mobility so these trucks are going to fill some of the gap when it comes to our operational necessities for border operations and far to reach areas, like the commander of B.D.F. said. It has been a highly anticipated donation. We got the trucks here a couple weeks ago and we are proud to say that we’re receiving them today and we will be getting them on the road in another week or so after we insure them. The trucks will be used by the infantry battalion so we are splitting them up. Two will be going to the south for the southern area of responsibility and another two in the western and northern area of responsibility and we will keep one here at the motor transport department to assist with the day-to-day running of the force here. It is going to compliment our fleet of the six that we still have and some older trucks that we have been using. But it is going to help us to bring in those for maintenance and push these out. With these new trucks, because they are a little bit more modern than the ones we’ve received in the past, we are going to run a short driving course to refresh the operators of these vehicles. We are going to attempt to have dedicated drivers rotating on these newer trucks until everyone has gotten that level of training, confidence and so on to be moving our troops around in that.”


The cooperation between the U.S. Government and Belize’s military forces spans over a decade. And donations like these strengthen the partnership between both countries.


Leyla Moses-Ones

“Cooperation goes back more than a decade, but the mil to mil ties have probably never been stronger. We came out of the pandemic looking to innovate, to strengthen our border security. It was mentioned by Lieutenant Colonel Leal that the issue of transnational criminal organizations – it is a very real threat, we take it very seriously and we are here to partner with Belize and our commitment is steadfast.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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