While investigations continue into the mysterious helicopter found in Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District, the Belize Defense Force is looking forward to the addition of two military type helicopters to be added to their fleet of transport. Since the pull-out of the British Military Training unit in 2012, government has been going around cap in hand begging their partners in the US, the UK and Taiwan for assistance in getting a helicopter. And last year October, Government announced that they found a multi-million dollar deal for two helicopters. BDF Commander, David Jones says the helicopters from Taiwan are expected to arrive shortly.
Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defense Force
“The two helicopters that are expected to come from Taiwan. We expect them sometime the end of this year. Before the end of the year, we are going to have those two helicopters in the country. We had a team from Taiwan who came in to do a site visit. They looked at the facilities we got and they plan to bring the two helicopters in, assemble them and fly them around. And subsequently, we are doing concurrently at the moment, trying to get a different team to come in to train our pilots to fly that particular platform because our pilots have been trained to fly the Bell, which is similar as the helicopter they flew in, but there needs to be some sort of conversion for them to fly a different platform. So we expect those in by end of the year, and they will be operational at the end of the year.”
Jones says the annual average cost of maintenance for the two helicopters would be 280 thousand Belize dollars. He says two hundred thousand of that will come out of the annual budget that is currently set aside for renting Astrum Helicopters.
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