BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday August 24, 2018 – The structure of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) will be reviewed in the coming months to ensure that it is best placed to deal with current and emerging threats to the island’s national security.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale Marshall says the exercise will result in a revised Force structure and the streamlining of ranks, “to ensure that the Force is organized and has the human resources that will be necessary to defend Barbados and to assist other agencies in the maintenance of a safe and secure environment that is conducive to national development”.
He added that it was Government’s intention to improve the BDF’s capacity in the areas of disaster response, engineering, youth development and maritime dominance.
In addressing the military troops, Marshall said the phased, focused and sustainable modernisation of the BDF would improve Barbados’ unified inter-agency national security risk mitigation efforts.
“This is not a luxury, it is an insurance policy and an investment in the charting of the future of this country,” he said.
Marshall noted that the BDF, through its joint tourist protection patrols, counter-trafficking and contraband interception operations, contributed “immeasurably” to the preservation of the national security of Barbados.
He added that the BDF was also preparing to make space available for the functioning of part of the judicial system, through the provision of spaces for two criminal courts.
“Therefore, military support to the Royal Barbados Police Force in operations and training will continue to be critical. Concomitantly, the provision of police training in various areas that were once not seen to be within the remit of the military will be essential to mitigate the current and emerging threats to our society,” the Attorney General said.
However, Marshall cautioned that the BDF’s versatility would continue to be tested, but gave the assurance that it would rise to the challenge.