Belizean Troops to Return from Jamaican Training for Haiti Peacekeeping: Ready for Deployment

Belizean Troops to Return from Jamaican Training for Haiti Peacekeeping: Ready for Deployment

The fifty men of the Belize Defence Force and the Belize Coast Guard who were sent to Jamaica for military training are scheduled to return home tomorrow.  The group was sent to train specifically on peacekeeping efforts with a plan of deployment to Haiti.  The 30 Belize Defence Force (BDF) soldiers and 20 Belize Coast Guard (BCG) members traveled last month to Jamaica to train alongside soldiers from Jamaica and the Bahamas. The training is part of a multi-national exercise, dubbed “Trogon Shield”, and was led by the Canadian Armed Forces. Last week, BCG Commandant Rear Admiral Elton Bennett was in Jamaica and got a first-hand look at the training at work. Today, he spoke to Love News about the trip and noted that the troops are ready and prepared to assist in the peacekeeping efforts in Haiti.

RADM Elton Bennett, BCG Commandant:We were able to witness their tactics and drills and how well they operated alongside our Caribbean counterparts and I was very pleased when I saw members of our unit from the Belize Coast Guard side by side with the Jamaican and Bahamian counterparts executing those hostage release situations and conducting operations that would simulate gang situations in Haiti. So we were able to witness the exercise and we were able to speak with our troops as well. Spoke with them about the possible mission and what needs to be in place before they deploy and that the real situation is like in Haiti at this point. But in addition to that we also had the opportunity to speak with the leadership of the Bahamas Defence Force and the leadership of the Jamaican Defense Force and speaking about their readiness as well and their commitment to the Haitian cause. So we had a very good high level military discussion and exchanges. In addition to that there were other interested parties from the Caribbean that are now showing interest in participating in this mission so it was a very good opportunity to visit the Caribbean regions and to see how our guys are integrating into this exercise and how other countries are perceiving the situation in Haiti. So the guys are confident and they’re competent in what they’re doing. I would say that they are ready. The Belize contingent, the members of the Belize Defence Force and the Belize Coast Guard they are ready to undertake this high risk mission in Haiti. Their tactics is up to speed. They have met all the training objectives that were identified by the trainers. If you are aware the training is conducted by the Canadian military who are very versed in peace keeping operations world wide and are very happy to report that all the training objectives have been met and the team is prepared, training wise, to go into Haiti.”

Bennett says that while there is no concrete date set for possible deployment, the troops may be heading over to the island nation in the next five months. He also explained that the primary objective would be to assist in the installation of a new and legitimate Haitian government.  

RADM Elton Bennett, BCG Commandant: “Even though the timelines are a bit vague, because it’s really broken down into three phases, the CARICOM Task Force has a role to play in phase two and phase three of the operation. So we’re looking at if approval is given, a possible deployment initially of the CARICOM Task Force headquarters within perhaps a month from now and then thereafter, two to three months the majority of the CARICOM task force deploying for operational duty in Haiti. So we’re looking at if everything is approved and all consideration made in terms of equipping the forces for the mission, that the possible deployment could very well be sometime in August or September. So there are many other factors that need to be considered. The Presidential Transition Committee in Haiti at this time was installed just last week and they would make a determination when elections would be held, understanding that our mission is to ensure that the environment is stable enough for Haiti to conduct its elections. That will determine the time frame of our deployment in Haiti. But also that committee, along with its newly interim prime minister may very well be able to solve the situation before any foreign troops land in Haiti, who knows. And so there are many factors that need to be considered at this stage. There is new leadership in Haiti and hopefully they will be able to work out some security issues to work towards that stability that is required for that elections to be held.”

Bennett added that the BCG will ensure its troops share the knowledge they received with other members of the military organization.

Related post

Steady Turnout in Bi-Elections: Polls Close with 54.72% Voter Participation

Steady Turnout in Bi-Elections: Polls Close with 54.72% Voter…

The polls in today’s bi-elections closed at six o’clock this evening.  Up to five o’clock, the voter turnout as registered by…
Dr. Osmond Martinez: From CEO to Political Candidate with Briceno’s Backing

Dr. Osmond Martinez: From CEO to Political Candidate with…

The three candidates in this bi-election, aimed at replacing the late Honorable Michael Espat, are Dr Osmond Martinez, Dennis Desho Williams…
UDP’s Dennis Desho Williams: New Hopeful for a Seat with Strong Party Support

UDP’s Dennis Desho Williams: New Hopeful for a Seat…

The next candidate under the umbrella for the United Democratic Party (UDP) is Dennis Desho Williams.  He has been the appointed…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *