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#509818 - 12/10/15 05:02 AM Forward Base On Hunting Caye Held Up For a While
Marty Online   happy

It’s also been over a year since construction screeched to a sudden halt at the other Coast Guard Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye. That’s after the firestorm of controversy that erupted the when the public found out that a Guatemalan company, BINARQ, had been building the base.

The US Government made it clear to the Barrow Administration that if the Belize Government didn’t want the Guatemalan company building the base, then they would have to do it themselves. Since then, that project, which is 75% complete, has stalled.

Construction has not lulled for months, and so while we had the opportunity today, we asked the CEO in the Ministry of National Security when it will start up again. He told us that the tender to a Belizean construction company has to go out first:

George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security

"We were waiting to get the drawings and all the designs from the Americans who were the ones who had the initial designs. Those designs were given to us about a month ago for which we have since given them to the ministry of works. Ministry of work and the coast guard have since then did a check on the ground at Hunting Caye to find out what the current status of the building is and what would be required from their estimation for the completion of that facility. As soon as they finish their due diligence and prepare us with a proposed bill of quantities we will put it out for tender. It will go out for tender, it will be out all on the newspapers so it will be no secret and hopefully the best Belizean tender that wins the tender will be given the contract to construct."

It is estimated that the forward operating base will be finished 3 months after the tender goes out. There is no definite deadline set for the tendering process as yet.

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#510944 - 01/22/16 04:53 AM Re: Forward Base On Hunting Caye Held Up For a While [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Yesterday we told you of the near-ten million dollar budget allocated for the Belize Coast Guard in 2015. We have also told you of the progress they have made since its inception in 2005 and we have highlighted some of their accomplishments in 2015. As for the works in progress, Admiral John Borland, who heads the BCG, told the media there are several areas that will be improved upon including the Hunting Caye base for the BCG.


“The officers that are stationed at Hunting Caye are all on active duty status, they will continue to perform their operational requirements for providing law enforcement and their military functions. They continue to operate out of the old facility as you rightfully described. The new facility still hasn’t met any traction since the project was suspended but the update on that project is that finally now we have received the new amended updated plans from the Army Corp of engineers. Our Ministry of Works Engineers have since then put together a bill of quantities and an estimate for the completion of that project and we expect that contract should be put to tender and advertised by the end of this financial year and work should commence within the first quarter of the 2016 financial year but for now they continue to operate out of the old facility that was there before the new one begun to be constructed. "

With the old base not being ideal for occupation, Borland says in the military, the men and women are trained to operate under all conditions.


“From a military standpoint I wouldn’t say that it is difficult, it is not ideal. It’s definitely in a state of disrepair and we’d need it to be repaired but at this point we believe that there is no point in doing any investment in refurbishing that facility as we expect construction to commence shortly on the continuation of the new Forward Operating Base that was being constructed. As military men trained to operate under all conditions and to execute their duty we expect that those men are still able to perform with no flaws. They have been provided with the kit and equipment, food, operational directives and orders and they are able to execute. We’ve operated under fall less conditions or worse or adverse conditions and have been able to fulfill our duties no problem at all."

Hunting Caye is an approximate hour and a half boat ride from Punta Gorda and lies between the Sapodilla Marine Reserve and the Sapodilla Range.



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