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#398879 - 01/29/11 12:17 PM The BDF Celebrates 33rd Anniversary
Marty Offline
Since its establishment in 1978 the BDF has evolved from a fledgling fighting force called the Home Guard to a professional army with highly trained officers and rugged, jungle ready soldiers. And their role has also evolved; they have gone from strictly protecting Belize's borders to an ever expanded role in providing domestic security. It may not be an ideal arrangement but that doesn't mean there isn't reason to celebrate the army's 33rd anniversary. It started, literally, with a bang today and Monica Bodden was there at the Price Barracks.

Monica Bodden Reporting
The Belize Defence Force was formed on the first of January 1978 - and ever since then - they have commemorated the day annually.

This year marks their 33rd Anniversary - and this morning the official ceremonies and parade were held at the Price Barracks.

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander - BDF
"We have the official parade with the parade marching pass and then the Minister issued certificate to soldiers who have completed 22 years of service and that's what he did this morning. In addition to that soldiers who have completed exemplary service were also pin the long service and good conduct medal so that was part of the ceremonies this morning."

Minister of National Security along with dignitaries, military personnel and students of Queen Square Anglican School were present - along with a number of other spectators.

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander - BDF
"It's always good to have the children to come and look at the parade and look at the display because at the end of the day these are the same kids that will grow up and where we will recruit from and when they see a parade that went as splendid as this morning and the display by the Belize Special Assignment group we get them enthusiast and so that they can be thinking in the future they would want to have a career in the Force so it's something that we do every year and I am glad that Queen's Square Anglican came again this year."

And before wrapping up this morning's ceremony, the Belize Special Assignment group gave a special demonstration of a hostage rescue.

Brig. Gen. Dario Tapia, Commander - BDF
"And what BSA did was a demonstration on how to rescue a hostage in case of a hostage situation. So as you experience the bad guys came and took a hostage from the crowd and took him hostage and BSA then assaulted the position retrieve the hostage and then cleared the enemy and so that is what was seen there and I think we just sow the capabilities of the Belize Special Assignment Group should a situation arises in Belize, we have that capability to deal with it."

And the celebrations continue tomorrow - where the Belize Defence Force open day will be held at the Price Barracks.

Lieutenant Colonel David Jones - Chief of Staff, BDF
"We start in the morning around 8 o'clock or so. The public is invited to come and share and enjoy the day with us. We have a lot of the business community who will come and set up their booth to display their products. Throughout the day we will also have military displays, we will have different booths showcasing what the Belize Defence Force is all about. We are having members from the services and support battalion, the infantry battalions, the air wing, our special boat unit, the special forces platoon as well as well as the female units within our force. During that day we will also have military displays so similar displays as was witness today you will have that and some more tomorrow. If the skies are well as beautiful as today we may even have some sky divers jumping out of the aircraft to commemorate the day with tomorrow."

Everyone is encouraged to take part in the event.

Lieutenant Colonel David Jones - Chief of Staff, BDF
"It's a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and enjoy the day with us. There is a lot to witness, there is a lot to enjoy. Even the kids will be here riding of the little train that we have, they get a tour of the camp, learn about the life of the Belize Defence Force, we will try to encourage them, students, kids, about what the BDF is all about, why they should join. it's a great opportunity for them to serve their country and for the adults, later on there is the big dance with New Rebels featuring Supa G as part of the action. There will be dances and music throughout the day, food and drinks galore as well as games. We are having Tambola s well as pistol shoots, other games and foods, beverages and everything that people will like to have tomorrow. It's going to be a wonderful day for the family."

Tomorrow's event starts at 8 in the morning - and the entrance fee is only one dollar.

Channel 7

#398880 - 01/29/11 12:17 PM Re: The BDF Celebrates 33rd Anniversary [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Belize Defense Force celebrated its thrifty third anniversary of service to Belize with grand pomp and circumstance. told us the significance behind the day’s events.

Brigadier General Dario Tapia – Commander, BDF
“It’s come a long way certainly, thirty three years. I have served twenty three years out of those thirty three. So when I came in the Force it was still in the development stages. A lot of what we currently have was not in place, for many reasons. The British were still here and so over the years when they handed over the Defense of Belize to the BDF we have had to have additional capabilities, we have had to deploy Country wide, which in the past we didn’t do, we were only here in Price Barracks and Camp Belizaire in San Ignacio. So certainly the Force has developed, and we continue to see additional units being added as we see it fit, to meet our future and Development Tasks.”

Maria Novelo - Reporter
"At what level do you see the BDF operating right now?"

Dario Tapia
“I believe that the BDF is operating at an extremely high level, considering the resources that we have. I think we are doing admirably. We don't have anything we need, but yet the soldiers go out there and do their jobs and try to do it professionally and we the Leaders try to instill that in them, because if we don't, then you will find soldiers lagging behind or simply not doing what they are supposed to do.”

In commemorating their anniversary, the official ceremony took place at the Price Barracks in Ladyville and had the participation of the Minister of Defense and Immigration Carlos Perdomo who delivered the main address. Brigadier Tapia says on Saturday an open day will be held and the public is invited to come out.”

 Dario Tapia
“Every year we invite the Belizean Public to come and join with us to celebrate our 33'rd Anniversary, and so the Camp will be opened from around nine in the morning tomorrow, and there will be a series of displays, there will be Business People here showcasing their products that they want to sell to the Belizean Public, there will be lots of food, drinks, displays. There will be some games of chance and of course they highlight the General himself as apparently the other General, Supa G will be in the house to play good music for the Belizean People that come out here, and also later in the evening, there will be a Dance here at Price Barracks.”

There are over one thousand recruits serving the country in the Belize Defense Force.



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