Belize Defense Force and British Army Conclude Joint Training Program for Soldiers
Today, the Belize Defense Force and the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) concluded a joint training program geared at improving the skills of soldiers. The training included participants from the Belize Police Department, the Belize Coast Guard, and other military organizations from countries in the region. The intense program sought to prepare the soldiers when entering dangerous situations, and performance strategies, both physical and mental. Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General Azriel Loria, says the forces conducted various forms of military drills, which sought to bolster their abilities.
Brig. Gen. Azariel Loria, Commander, Belize Defence Force: “Every year we do planning. We plan one year out to do various types of training and the training that we need the most and what we have tried to do in the past especially with BATSUB is that he asked us what is it that we would want to do and essentially we want to do a refresher because we are doing our own training as well but then from time to time we would need to contact them, check our notes and see what they’re doing right, what we’re not doing that right and we improve on our doctrine. So over the past year we said that we’re going to do a series of courses, trainings and refreshers during the month of October and November. It culminated today. We did the FFQ we call it the Force Field Firing Qualification Course. We did the junior NCOs training, tracking courses, jungle courses, the students it is not on me to invite the international students but it is BATSUB’s prerogative and specifically the defense attache that is located in Jamaica Col. Brewster so he was here today he did the closing ceremonies. So he identifies the students from the region in today’s graduation ceremony we had from Trinidad, from Barbados, I think we had from Turks and Caicos and Jamaica.”
Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Elton Bennett, spoke about the benefits of joint exercises that improve communication and comradery between and among the country’s security forces.
RADM Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: “We achieved a whole lot over the past two months working along with the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize, working along with the Belize Defence Force and members of the police department as it relates to tactical training. We’ve achieved field firing training, sharp shooting sniper training, senior officers training as well and so it’s very important for us to have these opportunities where we can train together. Quite often we’re required to work together in a very risky environment where we may have different techniques, different tactics to achieve different operational objectives but when we can conduct training like this together shoulder to shoulder doing training understanding where each other agencies are in terms of their techniques then standardize that then we achieve a whole lot that we can apply in the operating environment. So this means a lot to us. This is not only a few weeks of training as a matter of fact at the joint operational level at the Joint Intelligence and Operating Center where we all sit down the different agencies and we analyze, we share intelligence, we conduct operational planning and we execute from there so we’re joined at the hip as it relates to operations so training like these complement what we’re already doing. So it’s not that the extent of interoperability is based on what you see here only it is much deeper than that. We’ve had students from different parts of the Caribbean participating in the training and as you’ve seen the’ve also won some awards here today so it’s not only here in Belize but we’re looking at interoperability across the region. When we have opportunities to train such as in Exercise Trade Winds putting together the CARICOM contingent for example preparing for Haiti deployment all of these trainings come to bear.”
The training was led by BATSUB personnel.