Belize Defence Force Focuses on Training to Improve Public Image
In recent months, the Belize Defense Force has suffered from a few embarrassing situations. The force has been grappling with the loss of two of its high-powered rifles, one of which was recovered, and a fight among soldiers that led to maim. But the military force is now putting the incidents behind them and wants to improve its public image. Deputy Commander Colonel Anthony Velasquez says that one of the main areas of focus is training. He spoke to Love News about the need to improve the skill set of its rank and file to rebrand the BDF.
Colonel Anthony Velasquez, Deputy Commander: “The BDF although a very small organization we have a full calendar of training activities. In fact let me break it down to you. We have local training every year the calendar is completely full. We train our soldiers in all aspects of the duties that they are required to perform whether it be patrolling in the jungle, whether it be leading a squad of eight men, thirty men, a hundred men. We train them in all the administrative requirements that they need to do as well. On top of that, and training goes on constantly, on top of that we have just this month here we’re having some training with our British partners here in base BATSUB. They brought in some experts in infantry type training to train our soldiers throughout the month so we have taken full advantage of that. Aside from that we provide soldiers to assist them in their training and also we train our soldiers outside of the country. Our normal partners are Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Jamaica, Guyana and we send our soldiers again every year it’s a rotation we send soldiers to get trained so that they can receive the best and the most up to date professional training so when they come back to the BDF they enhance the BDF.”