Yesterday, the Belize Defense Force was the recipient of three new vehicles. The handing over ceremony took place at the Price Barracks in Ladyville, where Brigadier General David Jones accepted the vehicles on behalf of the BDF, from Minister of National Security John Saldivar. General Jones says the new equipment will greatly assist the national army in strengthening its presence in key areas.
General David Jones:
Those vehicles are going to assist us tremendously, because we have patrols that need to be deployed in Orange Walk, in Punta Gorda, the Cayo District, and also from here. We didn’t have have the capability to deploy our troops at short notice. Now these small vehicles are excellent for the task that we have been waiting for. So we’re going to have that coverage now for the small vehicles, for the quick reaction and response team, for all the bases throughout the country to be able to deploy and conduct operations.
According to the army commander, the Force continues to seek ways to improve its fleet of equipment and services.
General David Jones:
Actually we are always in need of vehicles. As vehicles get older probably after 5 years or so after we have these vehicles it’s time for us to change them. In the past we’ve had the Land rovers and those are not working anymore, getting spare parts for them is difficult. The British is no longer with us as they use to assist us very much with these parts and we no longer have those parts so we always have to be changing. These vehicles came just in time when we need to furnish our troops with the quick reaction capability that we needed.
The handover completes a fleet of 10 vehicles promised by the Ministry and acquired beginning last year. Jones also discussed the merits of the new vehicles and their uses.
General David Jones;
These vehicles are excellent for what we needed because some of the terrains that we need to deploy are off roads. Sometimes we need to go behind the Mountain Pine Ridge area. You may be aware that there is an escort of tourist hat we do in the De Silva area, the terrain is rough and it is dirt road and those are the terrain that we use to have our Land rovers working on. We don’t have the Land rovers that we use to but now these vehicles work as good as the Land rover, they are very comfortable and they stay on the road very well and they are very rugged. So far we’ve tested them for over a couple months now and they’ve been working excellent.