On Friday, November 15, 2013, Belizean and U.S. Military forces came together to commemorate important security and defense cooperation efforts between the two countries through a major equipment donation ceremony. The equipment the United States donated to Belize will allow the Belize military to deploy its forces more efficiently and rapidly. This equipment represents an investment that will yield major long-term security progress in the region, and will enable the Belize military forces to address the transnational threats of terrorism and illicit trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs, and merchandise.
As part of the donation, the Belize Coast Guard received one Boston Whaler 370 Outrage Justice Series boat, 12 complete sets of Maritime Dive Gear, Three Panasonic Toughbook laptops, two sets of maintenance tools, one Hydraulic Outboard Engine Hoist, and one Motor Backup Test Tank. The Coast Guard boat package includes three four-stroke Mercury outboard engines that will be able to effectively operate and maneuver in coastal areas, and maintain sustained high-speeds, a vectored chase on the open seas, and maintenance spares to keep the fleet operational. This donation also included a 10-year limited hull warranty, a chart plotter with touch screen and GPS navigation equipment, radar and multi-band radio.
In addition, the Belize Defense Force (BDF) also received three Jeep J-8 transport vehicles, three Jeep J-8 patrol vehicles, and one Jeep J-8 Ambulance, which will enhance the BDF's force projection capabilities and combat power sustainment while operating in Belize's challenging terrain. The BDF also received 100 Body Armor Vests, four Panasonic Toughbooks, CF-19 laptops, one Sustainment Tool Package and two uninterrupted power supplies. In early December of this year, the BDF will also receive two Metal Shark riverine crafts with full sustainment package, which will give the Special Boat Unit increased reach and capability along Belize's rivers. All of this equipment comes with sustained training packages both in Belize and at our training schools in the United States.
U.S. Chargé d'affaires Margaret Hawthorne participated in the equipment ceremony on Friday with the Minister of National Security John Saldivar, Brigadier General Jones, and Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Borland to commemorate this important event, and congratulate both countries on their efforts.