BDF ready to help po­lice fight crime

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Community -

THE BAR­BA­DOS DE­FENCE FORCE (BDF) is ready to help in the fight against gun crime and the re­cent scourge of vi­o­lence.

Chief of Staff Colonel Glyne Gran­num gave a swift “ab­so­lutely” while speak­ing to the DAILY NA­TION af­ter a ser­vice to mark the tenth an­niver­sary of the com­mis­sion­ing of the Bar­ba­dos Coast Guard’s HBMS Pel­i­can base.

The ser­vice was held at Whitepark Wes­leyan Ho­li­ness Taber­na­cle, Whitepark Road, The City, last Sun­day.

“As far as our readi­ness to sup­port the civil pow­ers such as the Royal Bar­ba­dos Po­lice Force, Cus­toms De­part­ment, as well as the Im­mi­gra­tion ser­vice and be­yond Bar­ba­dos, the fel­low mem­ber states in the Re­gional Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (RSS), the Bar­ba­dos De­fence Force, in­clu­sive of its Coast Guard, is ab­so­lutely ready,” he said.

While not re­veal­ing the numbers he had to de­ploy, Gran­num said the “en­tire force” would be avail­able to help pro­tect the coun­try in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties.

“I mean from per­sons who will be en­gaged mean­ing­fully and ro­bustly in in­ter­dict­ing threats, in the re­con­nais­sance for threats and those in lo­gis­tics ca­pac­i­ties re­quired to sup­port and look af­ter the engi­neer­ing of ves­sels and ve­hi­cles. So the full width and depth of the De­fence Force is ready,” he said.

“The numbers need not be an is­sue. Suf­fice to say, the en­tire force plays some role on an on­go­ing ba­sis, so sup­port to the civil power and the civil au­thor­ity is noth­ing that is new to the De­fence Force. In­deed, we have had ser­vice and suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions from the time of our ex­is­tence in the ’80s both in Bar­ba­dos and be­yond.”

He said the Coast Guard has not only as­sisted in pro­tect­ing the coun­try from il­le­gal drugs through seizures, it has also pro­tected mar­itime in­ter­ests and fish­eries, along with en­sur­ing there was no un­law­ful or un­reg­u­lated fish­ing.

The BDF chief said the Coast Guard also helped to pro­tect sea eggs from poach­ers dur­ing the closed sea­son and “make sure that sea­far­ers can go safely on the seas. If they get into distress, the Coast Guard is re­spon­si­ble for find­ing and res­cu­ing them and bring­ing them safely back to shore.”

He also cred­ited his men and women with the abil­ity to adapt across a wide spec­trum of se­cu­rity threats, in­clud­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian re­sponse in terms of dis­as­ter re­lief, as was cur­rently the case in the wake of Hur­ri­cane Irma.

Per­son­nel from the BDF are on the ground in St Kitts and Ne­vis, An­tigua and Bar­buda, and the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

The sol­diers are op­er­at­ing along­side the Bri­tish, French and Dutch au­thor­i­ties as well as the RSS, which is work­ing in con­junc­tion with the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency.

Dur­ing the church ser­vice, gen­eral su­per­in­ten­dent of the Wes­leyan Ho­li­ness Church in the Caribbean, Rev­erend Dr Joel Cum­ber­batch, told the con­gre­ga­tion that the de­struc­tion which hur­ri­canes like Irma were leav­ing in their wake was a re­minder of the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of small-is­land states. ( YB)

TO THE BEAT: The Zouave sec­tion of the Bar­ba­dos De­fence Force Band dur­ing part of the drill. COAST GUARD per­son­nel march­ing along Whitepark Road be­fore mak­ing a salute. (Pic­tures by Sandy Pitt.)

CHIEF OF STAFF Colonel Glyne Gran­num chat­ting with Bar­ba­dos De­fence Force chap­lain Rev. Es­ther Willoughby af­ter the ser­vice.

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