British High Commissioner gives B.D.F. a new ride

A new ride was added to the fleet of the Belize Defence Force today courtesy of the British government. It’s a gesture that comes from its cordial relationship with the BDF, one that according to Brigadier General Dario Tapia continues to grow. News Five attended the handing over ceremony and spoke to Tapia and British High Commissioner Pat Ashworth. We found out that with the newly acquired 2010 Toyota Hiace Van, visiting dignitaries will be riding in style.

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander, B.D.F.


“Today we received a 2010 Hiace Toyota Van. Essentially the force will use it as a protocol vehicle. Over the years we have had a number of foreign dignitaries that visit the force. So we lacked the ability to transport them in an adequate vehicle. So when the Belize Defence Advisor came to a B.D.F. day earlier this year, I requested his support in providing us and acquiring a protocol vehicle for the force and I’m glad that he was able to come through with that request. It continues to show that the relationship is strong and certainly the great interest that the British Government has in the further development of the force. As I mentioned in my remarks, the British played a crucial role in the forming up, molding and the initial development of the force and I’m glad that they still take an interest in seeing the full potential of the force develop.”

Pat Ashworth, British High Commissioner

“We’re always looking to make small donations to the B.D.F., we like to do something each year. I spoke to the defense attaché who is in Kingston to see what we could manage to do this year. He spoke to the B.D.F. and knew they needed this protocol vehicle so we found the funds and the rest is history. We like to use the training facilities in Belize; but more than that because of our history, I think it’s important to keep up traditions. They like the way we do things in Britain and we would like to continue to see that Belize continues to have an efficient army and we can do that by training them and by giving them equipment as well.”

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