There is a group of twenty Belize Defense Force Volunteers who have been selected for advanced training in the United States of America. According to Brigadier General Steven Ortega, the volunteers will receive their training along with members of the Louisiana State National Guard.
Brig. Gen. Steven Ortega – Commander of the B.D.F.: “We have a State Partnership Program with the Louisiana National Guard which as you know goes back many years and this year they have invited twenty members of the Volunteer Battalion to go over there and train for them for a couple of weeks and so this year we are sending twenty members of the Volunteer Battalion to conduct that training which also collaborates the friendship that we have and exposes us to different types of training and it also exposes them to a different aspect of training that they are used too.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “How is this different from the other trainings that you do like for example with the Trade Winds?”
Brig. Gen. Steven Ortega – Commander of the B.D.F.: “Well, in this case, we are going there so our soldiers are actually going into a new environment in Louisiana experiencing how the Americans set up their field training and conduct their training so it is a different environment totally.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “Is there any effort upon their return to perhaps use some of what they have learned to the other volunteers or to perhaps the soldiers themselves?”
Brig. Gen. Steven Ortega – Commander of the B.D.F.: “No it is one of the mandate that when you go out on training, when you come back you train other guys on what you have been trained to do so that is standard throughout the B.D.F. that whenever someone goes out and receives that knowledge they come back and they pass it on to the others.”
The joint program is sponsored by the BDF and the Louisiana National Guard. The 20 volunteers go on their training in May.