The Belize Defence Force and the Belize Coast Guard both received counter narcotics equipment courtesy of the United States Government yesterday under the U.S. Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM) Counter-Narcotics Program Office. The equipment is valued at a total of $432,000 USD and is expected to enhance the position of both local defence forces by keeping equipment that were previously donated by the embassy updated, modernized and effectively functional.
The equipment will also strengthen existing capabilities and create new ones to combat activities of international criminal organizations, and includes: two Ford F250 pick-up trucks; one video borescope/wireless inspection camera; a radio tester; one sight compass; a SMARTECH smart board; four Continental boat trailers; and two Hamilton waterjet engines to name a few.
Present at the handing over ceremony were Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Adrienne Galanek and CEO of the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel (RET) Felix Enriquez among other distinguished guests. Galanek highlighted her Government’s continued commitment to the stability and security of Belize and stressed the critical role Belize plays in the prosperity of the region.
The U.S. also provided material and equipment, valued at $50,000 USD, to upgrade the Main Entry Control Point to the BDF Base at Price Barracks which is expected to improve the security of infrastructure, equipment, and personnel at Price Barracks.