Today is the fifteenth anniversary for the Belize Coast Guard. There was no great fanfare due to the Covid-19 regulations. There was, however, a ceremony this morning that saw the march of 15 sailors dressed in ceremonial white signifying the fifteen years of dedicated service to the people and country of Belize. Acting Commandant Gregory Soberanis expressed his sincere appreciation to the brave men and women who have joined since its formation.
Acting Commandant Gregory Soberanis, Belize Coast Guard: “We are proud of the fact that as a maritime organization we provide maritime security and safety for the people of Belize and truly over the fifteen years the Coast Guard has grown leaps and bounds and it has to do with: one, good leadership, two it has to do with great partnership and three the commitment of the men and women in the organization. And so all those components merge together to make us who we are and have been able to form the foundation for us an organization and for growth and development. As you know from the incept we had General Borland who was first at the helm of this organization who handed the mantle of leadership to then Captain Borland who became Admiral Borland, most recent in November last year to Captain Bennet who we love, respect and appreciate, value him greatly in the UK studying- he now is at the helm of the Coast Guard and now leads us into the new era and new phase of the organization’s strategic development plan.”
Speaking briefly on the milestone of the Belize Coast Guard was the newly appointed CEO Dario Tapia.
Dario Tapia, CEO, Ministry of National Defense and Border Security: “Fifteen years is a long way from where they started and as you heard in speeches they started with fifty and now they’re just over five hundred. And I want to say congratulations on behalf of the Ministry to the men and women of the Coast Guard for carrying out a stellar job in the naval defence of this country.”
Over the last fifteen years the Belize Coast Guard has gone from 50 members to ten times more. While they have grown in human resources and equipment Soberanis says they are much more plans in the pipeline.
Acting Commandant Gregory Soberanis, Belize Coast Guard: ‘We have seen the coast guard grow from fifty to five hundred. We have seen our vessel fleet grow from five Columbian boats to now over thirty vessels of various types and sizes. One of the things that we look forward to is the development of Station Big Creek. You know we really want to look at how we can develop a station there where we can expand our ability to respond to incidents at sea. And so we work very closely with our leadership at the Ministry of Defence and Border security, they have committed their support to the further development of the Coast Guard so we anticipate and look forward to greater things in the years to come.”