Last year, the British Army Training Support Unit BATSUB, downsized their operation in Belize in November, but on June 3, 2011, they donated a fleet of 6 all-terrain vehicles to the BDF.
It was in an effort to try to assist in the absence the vital helicopter support that BATSUB provided to reach those remote observation outposts on Belize's borders, but those ATV's couldn't hold up in the rugged terrain.
Well, the BDF communicated their issues to the new Minister of National Security John Saldivar took over and today, he made a donation of 3 vehicles and John Deer tractor to help with their needs.
According to the Commandant of the BDF a tractor helps to mobilize troops better.
The Minister of National Security spoke to the media on how the decision was made:
Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security
"It came about as the result of some of the need that were expressed to me very early on when I took over the Ministry of National Security. The BDF is in need of several vehicles so that they can get around the country better, so that they can patrol our borders better, and this is only the beginning. Within another 2 months, we should be getting hopefully another 7 vehicles for them, and after that, I believe we'll be properly able to mobilize around the country."
Delanie Bain - Channel 5 News
"Are there any other - apart from vehicles, there may be other needs within the BDF for other equipment?"
Hon. John Saldivar
"At this present time, we're trying to complete Jock building. It's a building right here on the Price Barracks Facility, which is to house our joint operation center, which will be a center that will have the police, the BDF, Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration - all the major security agencies which will help to carry out joint operations that are for national security purposes."
Marion Ali - Love News
"Minister, can you quantify for us how many vehicles, at what sum, and where was the money identified for it?"
Hon. John Saldivar
"It was identified within our general budget. We have been conducting exercises every month or so to see where we are saving money, and were able to scrape money here and there within the budget. And so, it is as a result of these exercises; we're really trying to find as much resources as possible."
The donation has an estimated value of $218,000.