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#508648 - 10/28/15 11:00 AM BATSUB Back?
Marty Offline

BATSUB - the British Army Training Support Unit Belize - pulled out of Belize in mid 2013. Well, they didn't officially pull out; it was nicely called a downsizing. Well, they're back, sort of.

Today we found the British Army working with the BDF in the jungle near Gales Point Manatee. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

There is a group of British soldiers who are also training soldiers from the BDF, and we'll show you how that looked in tomorrow's newscast.

Channel 7

BATSUB Heads to Gales Point for Jungle Warfare Training

The Belize Defense Force and the British Army Support Unit teamed up today for a joint training exercise to sharpen the skills of the two armies. Belize offers the right terrain for this sort of warfare exercise and the soldiers met the challenge in Gales Point (Manatee).  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A river crossing by a section of eight British soldiers, deep inside the forest near Gales Point is an exercise in thoroughness.  Each man falls into a tight formation, carefully scanning the environment before proceeding to another phase of the activity.  The British Army Training Support Unit Belize, BATSUB, has chosen this rugged terrain in the Belize District to instruct recruits on jungle warfare and survival.

Richard Amis

Col. Sgt. Richard Amis, Jungle Warfare Instructor, British Army

“The whole reason behind the maneuver is so that the guys can cross an obstacle which we class as a vulnerable point which is most dangerous to people because obviously they are susceptible to receiving casualties if they don’t do it quickly and efficiently if they were to be engaged by the enemy.  So what we’re trying to do is teach them a method that gets them across from [point] A to B without obviously incurring any casualties.”

To achieve this goal successfully the soldiers have to work in concert with each other, maintaining a degree of vigilance that is crucial in protecting themselves in the dense wilderness.

Thomas Iche

Cpl. Thomas Iche, Jungle Warfare Instructor, B.D.F.

“Right here we are assisting them with basic tactics in the jungle because it is not new to them but where they operate is far, well when they talk to us it’s kind of different.  So when they come in Belize the jungle is actually kind of a different theater to them, it’s thick and it’s harder to maneuver when they find it but it’s just that we show them how it actually works because this is where we operate every day.”

That rigorous exercise is the actual application of what is been taught in a classroom setting back at Price Barracks.  Before setting out to Gales Point, the men must first complete a series of courses that are mission-oriented.

Mark Bagguley

Capt. Mark Bagguley, O.C., School of Infantry, British Army

“I have been deployed out here to assist my counterparts in the BDF on a suite of courses.  We are currently training circa thirty-five men, thirty-eight in total, in reality as fire team commanders over a four-week course, majoring on administration, leadership and management.  That is one of the courses that we are conducting.  The secondary course that we are doing is a bespoke skill at arms course which again is circa four weeks.  That is rank ranged from Lance Corporal through to Staff Sergeant.  In that course the Operational Performance Statement or how the Belize Defense Force has requested their forces are trained is in range management and close-quarters marksmanship.”

On the parade square at Price Barracks, officers from the Belize Defense Force are running a series of marching drills.  Their instructors are BATSUB personnel.  The exercise is important as its origin is in the theater of war.

James Thurstan

Lt. Col. James Thurstan, O.C., 1st Battalion Coldstream, British Army

“Drill has its history on the battlefield.  In battles sort of like two, three hundred years ago, all those movements that you see there were actually movements of how infantrymen fought two, three hundred years ago when the tactics have their history in those drill movements because it was how you moved squares of men around the battlefield in a coordinated manner.  You got those basic rights of teamwork, understanding, cohesion, attention to detail, all those things are discussed and then you’re at a good start point to be ready to deal with more complicated, modern day tactical training activities that Mark and his team are now working through with the B.D.F.”

The training exercise is a collaborative effort between the British Army and the B.D.F. and is scheduled to continue through to November.

Channel 5

#508668 - 10/29/15 11:07 AM Re: BATSUB Back? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

No Joke Jimmy, The Brits Are Back

Last night, we showed you how for the past few weeks, the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) had been training in Belize after 4 years of scaled back activity.

They left Belize behind in 2011 after Prime Minister, David Cameron and the British Military brass decided that it would cut back on military bases worldwide. At that time, the British were focusing their military energies on Iraq and Afghanistan.

But, since 2013, since Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Brigadier General David Jones have been lobbying the British Government to bring back BATSUB to mid-2011 levels.

Well today, 2 years later, the British Army has committed to a renewed, full scale BATSUB facility in Belize. That commitment was cemented with a visit from Lieutenant General James Rupert Everard, the Commander of the British Army’s Land Forces. Military experts tells us he is the highest ranking British Soldier to ever visit Belize.

He was received this afternoon at Price Barracks by the top brass of the Belize Defence Force, and 7News was there. He granted us a brief interview to reveal that he was here to meet with General Jones and Prime Minister Barrow to discuss what the new BATSUB would look like. Here’s what he had to say:

Lt. General James Everard - Commander, Land Forces, British Army

"You'll know that our army has been focused on the campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're not returning to contingency and one of the areas we're going to explore is re-establishing our training presence in Belize. As you know we've had about 900 soldiers here this year. I think we'll be just over 2,000 next year and I think that will establish a pattern of activity that we hope to maintain over a prolonged period. And not just training benefit for ourselves but this time doing much more in concert with your own defence force to help develop our lessons to mutual advantage."

Daniel Ortiz

"Is that one of the topics you intend to discuss with our prime minister?"

Lt. General James Everard - Commander, Land Forces, British Army

"Absolutely, I met with Brig General Jones in England when we were across. We had a really good conversation about the direction of travel; he's been hugely supportive in terms of what we've been doing here and I think my message to the prime minister will be that A. To thank him for all the help we've had as we re-establish our presence here and to look to the future we see what more we can do together."


"Does this signify a permanent presence in terms of number of soldiers who will be stationed here? Or is it just on a rotation basis for training?"

Lt. General James Everard - Commander, Land Forces, British Army

"That's a very good question. We have this dreadful word in the UK called austerity, which means we do everything, whether be training. We are going to put a larger permanent presence here but it will still be small in comparison to what we had in the past. But the important thing for me is that regular drum beat of training. So the southern company exercise, the battalion exercise and each one of those exercises bring in with it a training team that will work alongside your own defence forces, hopefully to mutual benefit."

Daniel Ortiz

"Sir I know one of the major benefits to having the batsub at its former activity; the air support that you provided for the BDF, will that return as well?"

Lt. General James Everard - Commander, Land Forces, British Army

"That for me is almost a more important aspect of us coming back here. We look at this part of the world; the only commonwealth country in Central America of course is Belize. We've been old friends for a long time. I think your prime minister's vision, which I've read is very clear and we working with other multinational partners. And you'll know there will be a very good multinational cooperation meeting shortly with the US, Canadians, ourselves and your own defence force, working together to carry that forward, to really deliver what you need."

Before heading to his meeting with Lt. General Everard, General Jones also granted the press an interview in which he discussed the strategic importance of the return of BATSUB. Here’s what he had to say:

Brig. General David Jones - Commander, BDF

"This is a very important visit. General Everard is the commander for the entire land forces for the British Army and I don't recall in memory we've had someone of such high rank from the British army visiting Belize so it’s quite pivotal he's here. It shows the keen interest that the British army has to come back to Belize and the support that their keen to provide to the Belize defence force. It signifies that there is going to be greater cooperation from what occurred in 2011 when they had down sized of their unit here. He is the person that will actually make the decision; whatever decision he makes will happen. So he's her to personally see what's happening in Belize, what's available for the British army to do and what level of cooperation can be given to the Belize defence force. After meetings that I will have with him today and discussions he will have with the Prime Minister. We will hear from him before he leaves in regards to what level of support batsub will be here in Belize and what level of support the British army will be supporting Belize and the Belize defence force in particular."

Of important note is that the BDF Commander also welcomed Major General Edward Smyth-Osburne, the General Officer Commanding London District. He was ceremonially received yesterday by the BDF’s Honor Guard.

BATSUB General Meets PM

This evening, Lt. General Jame Everard and Brigadier General David Jones had a high level meeting with the Prime Minister in which some of the finer details were discussed about how BATSUB would operate in the near future. They were accompanied by the British High Commissioner, Major General Smyth Osborne, and the Commander of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. And, on the Belize side, we saw the Military Liaison Officer, and the CEO of the Ministry of National Security.

The media was allowed to witness a part of that meeting, and afterwards, the Prime Minister gave a briefing on how his Government views BATSUB’s return. On the day after he made the macho remarks against Guatemalan President Elect Jimmy Morales, here’s what the PM had to say now that he had, in some small measure, British backative:

Dean Barrow - Prime Minister

"There are so many ramifications to this development. First of all and perhaps more directly what the BDF is trying to do here is to establish a sort of regional training centre for excellence; a sort of jungle warfare a type training centre. What this does is to give further impetus to an idea that in fact our BDF have been trying to implement for some time now. What General Everard said to me it will be lovely for them to collaborate with the other national armies that are passing through; The Dutch, the Norwegians and of course you know for a while now we've been having visits and exchanges with the Americans and with the Canadians. What this will do as well is to allow our own Belize defence force to benefit from the cooperation that will take place not just through the joint training exercises but as a consequents of the general broadening of the relationship between the two militaries. Already we've talked about new places for BDF personnel in training facilities in the UK, military schools in the UK. There's also the economic aspect of things. The fact that there will be some increasing additional local employment, employment of local staff; we want to put on record our gratitude to the British military, to the UK ministry of defence and to her majesty's government in general. The benefit that we as a country and BDF in particular will derive from the new arrangement is absolutely to be welcomed, absolutely to be appreciated."

Later on in the news, we'll take you back to Price Barracks and show you the training that the BATSUB is already conducting with officers of the BDF.

Drills The British Way

At the top of the news, we showed you how a high ranking British General visited Belize to announce that BATSUB was returning. Yesterday, we also took you to the BATSUB training camp on the Coastal Road near Gales Point, Manatee.

Well, while the British Soldiers were training themselves, they’ve also been training select officers of the Belize Defence Force. We got a chance to see what that looked like yesterday, and Daniel Ortiz has that story.

For about an hour and a half, in the warm morning sun, this group of BDF soldiers marched around in on the Parade Square, taking commands from their British Trainer, demonstrating that they had a very good grasp of form, technique, and cohesion.

They had been practicing for the past few days, and yesterday was their final test, to show that not only were they well-coordinated, but that they could easily take on the leadership of officers placed under their command.

At first glance, the careful steps, marches and tight symmetrical turns appeared as though it was all for show, but in the grand scheme of a soldier's life, it has a proper place.

Lt. Col. James Thurstan - Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards

"What drill teaches you is it teaches you teamwork, it teaches you attention to detail, it teaches you the ability to work as a team; which we clearly saw them doing today. And it's a very good foundation, a very good basis to them take forward and of course drill has its history on the battlefield. In battles of sort of 2, 3 hundred years ago, all those movements that you see there are actually movements of how infantry men fought 2, 3 hundred years ago; when the tactics have their history in those drill movements because it was how you moved squares of men around the battlefield in a coordinated manner. You get those basics right of teamwork, understanding, cohesion, attention to detail; all those things are discussed. Then you're in a good start point to be ready to deal with more complicated modern day tactical training activity that Mark and his team and I working through with the BDF."

BDF soldiers, who had already showed this ability to work as tight unit, were selected to participate in in 2 very distinctive training courses that BATSUB was invited to offer. The first is called the Fire Team Commander’s Course.

Cpt. Mark Bagguley - OC, Trainer

"It's progressive training. We will start with crew leadership management in week one; where the soldiers, we have fused both militaries together. So we are not teaching, we are sucking up as much of the syllabus and values and standards etc. that the Belizean defence force teaches their own forces and our forces are reinforcing that on their behalf. We've designed the courses in such a manner with what we determine as a T3 trainer package to allow our Belizean counterparts when we leave here, that we have not just train on cohort of their personnel. We are leaving DNA for one of a better word to spread through their ranks rather than just having an isolated cohort."

The other training course that the British Soldiers are assisting the BDF with is called Skill-At-Arms. The hope is that after 4 weeks of intensive weapons and physical training, the 25 soldiers participating will be experts at close quarter’s combat and reactionary marksmanship.

Cpt. Mark Bagguley - OC, Trainer

"The Belizean defence force is very competent and with the students we've got, we just reinforce that. We come with an open mind."

"Without a doubt we will be far better than they are currently. As I said at the start the training has been tailored to the requirements of what the Belizean defence force have requested their soldiers to be trained in."

Of important note is that BATSUB played an important role in the relief efforts that the Government made to victims of the flood in Belize City last week. They were an essential part of the food and ration distribution to those flood victims who had to seek shelter at YWCA and ITVET.

Channel 7

High ranking military official in Belize to discuss revitalization of exchange with British Forces

#508980 - 11/09/15 11:20 AM Re: BATSUB Back? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Exercise Mayan Warrior: Foot guards test jungle warfare skills

Approximately 400 foot guards from 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards have swapped their ceremonial duties to test their jungle warfare skills in Belize as they take part in Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR.

1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards (1CG) have been working and training together on Ex MAYAN WARRIOR. The exercise is named after the ancient Mayan people and culture that had previously inhabited the region. The Guards have been deployed deep in the heart of Belize’s rainforest, learning how to fight in the jungle, and perhaps, more importantly how to navigate and survive amidst the dangers that lay beneath the canopies. It is the first time that 1CG have exercised in Belize and conducted jungle warfare training.

The Coldstream Guards have been based in Price Barracks for the last 4 weeks working closely alongside the Belizean Defence Force (BDF) to reinforce UK commitment and maintain enduring relationships. The Coldstreamers have been assisted by the BDF, they have been providing soldiers to not only help role-play as the enemy, but also act as local guides and to generally bring the picture to life for the training the guards have been doing.

Being put through their jungle warfare training is two of the battalions light role company's 1 and 2 Company (1Coy & 2Coy) and one ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) the Battalion Support Company (Sp Coy). Ex Mayan Warrior consists of three training phases; the basic jungle school phase, which is 10-12 days and teaches the survival, navigation, living and patrolling skills including a river crossing. The intermediate jungle school phase, which is a further, five days training and includes riverine operations, section/ platoon/ company tactical training, booby trapping, close target reconnaissance, camp attack/ambush and complex navigation. The final phase is the live firing package phase.

Colour Sergeant Richard Amis, Jungle Warfare Instructor said: “We are 3 days into 2 Coy’s low level basic training phase, this eight man platoon section have been working very hard, they have managed to maintain 360 degree protection during this small river crossing using the mechanics as taught, I am very pleased.”

Captain Jody Bragger is a Live Ranges Officer and it is his second deployment in Belize. Last time he was here he was a trainee, now he has returned and is the trainer. He said: “It’s great to come back to Belize. For me it is good see it from a different perspective, for the guys the jungle is challenging, the heat, fatigue and environment all contribute to provide a different form of training and it is great that we can come here and broaden our experiences.”

The difficulties of simply looking after yourself, or as the military refer ‘your personal admin’ is an immense struggle especially as Belize is known as a ‘Dirty Jungle’. In the jungle you do without the pleasures of soap or general toiletries; you are expected to not only visually blend in with the jungle with camouflage, but also with its smells as any ‘clean’ odour can carry for thousands of metres giving your position away. Shaving is out of the question, any cut or graze runs the risk of becoming infected. The soldiers have to become at one with their environment; all this before you even start contending with the insects and creepy crawlies of the jungle - mosquito’s, spiders (tarantulas among others), scorpions and snakes all intent on having a piece of you.

Navigating through the jungle is slow, exhausting and riddled with difficulties. The dense canopy makes the use of sat-nav systems impossible and can also interfere with radio transmission. In amongst the thick undergrowth everything around you looks the same; there are no topographical features to use for reference. The ground under foot is steep, muddy and at times uneven causing many to stumble and fall. Lance Corporal Kris Boyer added: “It’s tough, everything wants a bit of you – even the grass.”

Guardsman Richard Lawson, 2 Coy, said: “The training has been emotional, the heat and the environment is so much harder to deal with than any other I have experienced. I am really looking forward to getting some proper kip and freshening up.”


#509016 - 11/10/15 11:04 AM Re: BATSUB Back? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BDF and Brits Shoulder to Shoulder

A week ago, we told you how the BATSUB has returned to Belize both in numbers and for increased training activities. Right now, there are 2 training courses that they are offering to selected BDF Soldiers, those being the Fire Team Commanders and the Skill At Arms regimens.

Those BDF soldiers in training, along with the squad from the British Army in Belize, took on a 9 mile march and shoot competition early SUNDAY morning. It's a very tough test of wills and endurance, and the BDF invited our news team out to observe how the soldiers performed. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
These BDF soldiers may look right in form as they hoist their rifles and fire round after round at the targets.

If you look more closely, however, you'll start to see signs on fatigue on them, sweat drenched uniforms, and maybe a little quickening in their breathing. After all, they had just run about 9 miles before being expected to perform perfect marksmanship. Just the running itself is taxing, both physically and mentally.

Capt. Mark Bagguley - OC, Short Term Training Team, BATSUB
"It's very difficult. The environment itself and the heat is one of the challenges. They are moving as fast as they can. As I said it will test their mental physical robustness and when they shoot again, it's under the pressure of time. So they don't have the luxury. So they have to make snap judgement on the ground and react accordingly."

Capt. Victor Briceno - OC, Training, BDF
"It's basically running 9 miles with full weights and completing those tasks within every two miles and completing the 9 miles, they will then fire up on the range at certain targets at certain areas and should do that to gain points and see who is the top shooter within all of that. It's a lot of work and leadership and strength. It's a lot of work in everything. As you know the heat and the weather will be kind of tight and they will have to perform above and beyond what they are called for."

Capt. Mark Bagguley
"They are carrying 35 pounds plus their weapons. So it is quite heavy."

Capt. Victor Briceno - OC, Training, BDF
"Even though you might train and that is why you train hard, so that when you take assessment like these, just to show an example, a normal soldier will run a mile with load about 15 minutes. In this case, they have to do that in 10. So if you notice one-third of that time is being cut away and even though you are trained hard, you have to still meet that. It is still challenging, including the environment plus the weather - the climate itself will tax you. So no matter how hard you train - just like any Olympian. He will train for 4 years and when he performs it's just for 10 minutes, but that 10 minutes needs to sum up to the full 4 years of training. So it's basically that. It will be challenging and that is why it is designed that way, so that you could meet and taxed your threshold and pass that."

Earlier in the morning, we found 6 teams near the Hattieville Boom Bridge, readying themselves to take off.

Later, when our camera caught up with them a few miles in, the effort to keep marching appeared to be a constant struggle. Yet, each team dug deep, and took about a little over an hour to arrive at the Hattieville BDF Firing Range.

Since live bullets were being fired, this flag was shown to warn all military personnel to be very careful when approaching.

Once inside the compound, we saw that the firing range had been prepared for all 6 competing squads to show up and start shooting. The British team finished first and lined up and then took off to start firing.

Some time later, the first BDF squad, was next to line up and fire away. Then second BDF Squad to arrive took their spot next, until all slots were full. All of that took place under the watchful observation the high ranking officers, who were there monitoring their progress

After all the shooting was done, each team then checked to see how they did with the marksmanship

And all scores were carefully tabulated to see which squad performed the best. But, apart from the pride of being the toughest and the most battle ready, what are the other benefits of putting these soldiers through this type of punishment?

Capt. Mark Bagguley
"As the construct of the event is shown, it just test the mental and physical robustness of all the soldiers taking part."

Daniel Ortiz
"What have you seen in terms of strengths and weaknesses of all the teams?"

Capt. Mark Bagguley
"Just total strength really. They actual design of the course shows that ultimately at the end of the course with the participants picking up a burden which is simulated ammunition which is just total physical robustness. So eight and half miles after enduring quite an arduous march, they then pick up a burden which is simulated ammunition and water, which is no mean feat really."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Soberanis Smith - Sergeant Major, Training Company
"Some of the things that we would hope them to take away from this is the challenge and even after you are tired, as a junior leader, there are certain components of leadership that still have to be executed and even though you are tired and fatigue, we are looking for that internal aspect of them to still accomplish the mission to still get certain things done. I must say in regards to that, I am real happy to see them have that kind of passion to get more done."

Normally, BDF soldiers are required to run a mile in 15 minutes as the minimum standard. In yesterday's competition, all the soldiers were expected to run that same mile in 10 minutes or less, so as to increase the difficulty.

Channel 7

#509116 - 11/14/15 10:59 AM Re: BATSUB Back? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Coldstream Gaurd Completes Training Tour

The first group of British Soldiers to train in Belize since 2011 are almost finished with their jungle training. Today, the Commander of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards told us that he is satisfied with the work that his subordinates put in, and he's hoping to bring back another regiment next year:

While these British Soldiers from the Coldstream Guards will leave shortly, another group will come in under BATSUB to do their jungle training. We should note that elements of the Coldstream Guard also makes up the prestigious Queen's Guard.

BDF Honors British Training

Since BATSUB announced its return, we've shown you what they've been up to while training select BDF soldiers and themselves.

That included taking part in Sunday morning's 9 mile march and shoot competition. Well today, the officers who made it to the end of 4 tough weeks were celebrated with a graduation ceremony. It was, like the Ceremonial Swearing of the House of Representatives, dampened due to the intermittent rains. Despite that, these soldiers proudly accepted the respect and acknowledgement of their commanding officers. 7News was there this evening, and here's what they told us:

Brigadier General David Jones - Commander, BDF
"We had two courses culminating today. We had the range management qualification. We range management entails weapon handling. Teaching the students how to handle the weapon properly. How to disassembly it. How to clean it and even in the dark they are able to disassemble the weapon and even assemble it again. Then teaching the soldiers how to actually fire the weapon properly. teaching them the marksman principles from 1-4 and ensuring that they are hitting the target properly, using different fire positions - what is the best fire positions to hit different targets and that was a 4 week course. The other course was what they refer to as fire team commander's course. We refer to it in the Belize Defence Force as the junior non-commission officer's course. That is the first rank that a private soldier would get after they are qualified for a promotion. It's normally a 6 weeks course, but we've compressed it with British Army and we took advantage of the British Army being here for them to teach that course for us. We are grateful that they were trained by the British Army because we haven't had such training imparted to us from the British Army for quite some time."

Cpt. Mark Bagguley - OC, Trainer
"I think we have the luxury where no two days are the same. So in respect to that, both sources are very unique. So if you can picture an average day for those would be instructional techniques on weapon systems and then instructing those weapons systems back to their contemporaries and firing on the ranges which we saw students conducting during week three. The fire team commander's course, just touching on those as we saw on week 3. You saw them getting through their paces and digging in deep on the marching shoe and then shooting. So that is probably a good snapshot of an average day."

We also got a chance to speak with the top performers of both courses, and they told us about what they had to do to outlast a number of their peers who signed up but dropped out due to the level of difficulty.

Lance Corporal Leon Flowers
"From the first day we reported it was challenging. Because we didn't have any clue or idea of what will be coming for the first day. So probably the first day we have like 70 of us on the course. They had a physical that we had to take and it was challenging and as time goes by, it start to get more challenging. Guys who wouldn't made up their minds to do it, they just decide to back off. I am willing to take it on to another level. As it is from this day, I am willing to take up the cross and walk with it and carry it on to teach the rest of the guys at my unit and enforce itself."

Staff Sgt. Delton Morgan
"This course was split into two phase. The thing was new was the information. They brought updated pamphlet and that's the thing that I really grasps from. The range management part of the course, it's new to me a little bit. Because they went in dept. In the BDF we don't really go in-depth, but when those guys teach the range management they go in-depth. So the information is new to me. I didn't know it before and so I am going to try put it in our training program for us to be better in the Force. When you go on those operation you would get briefed. You normally get information for you to know more or less what to approach. But certain situation you got to use your head more or less and know what is danger. It's up to you to know if that is danger or not. You shouldn't be hasty most of the time. From the experience that we have in the Force and the amount of lecture we have, we know exactly how to react and we know exactly when it is dangerous for our health or our troops."

Lance Corporal Leon Flowers was one of the 3 top performing officers from the Fire Team Commanders Course who earned a promotion today because they completed the training.

Channel 7

#510648 - 01/14/16 10:58 AM Re: BATSUB Back? [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Return of BATSUB Will Increase Revenue to the Country

With the return of the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize, BATSUB, having been announced in October of last year, it is expected that the annual influx of British soldiers will bring much needed revenue to the country.  Similarly, the expansion of the Jungle Warfare Instructor Course to include military personnel from other countries should also see an increase in returns to the B.D.F.’s purse.  Brigadier General Jones told the media this morning that the exchange can be seen as a form of military tourism.

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“In the past we’ve had European countries and also countries in CARICOM who attend our course.  We have Trinidad, Jamaica and some of the other smaller islands.  They traditionally send their students here in Belize to do training.  We have members from the Dutch, the Norwegian, French Guiana and even the Guyanese come in to do training here in Belize.  We’ve also had US forces who come in to do jungle training here.  In the past we’ve also had Mexicans and even Canadians and at one point we had two Guatemalan officers, I believe, who came in to do our jungle warfare instructor course in Belize.  With it being expanded to a more international arena it brings revenue to the economy and for the country.  When we provide a specific training package for a large number of troops, for example for the Germans, they would pay to have those troops train here.  That money would go to the government and that money can be used to assist the B.D.F. again, goes back to the B.D.F. to by the necessary resources and equipment.  This can be a very good income earner for the government and the B.D.F. in that we can gain revenue from training foreign forces here and not just the direct cash that they give, it also brings revenue to when they have to come and rent vehicles, pay for hotels, buy food and contribute directly to the local place around the village here and also in Belize City and other districts.  So it’s also sort of a military tourism as well for the B.D.F. in that we get a lot of foreign militaries who come into Belize, they do training here, they get to see parts of the country and it’s sort of a tourism package as well.  They get to like the country and when they eventually want to have a vacation or such they come back to Belize, not just for jungle training but for vacation as well.”

Channel 5


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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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