The formulation of a well-crafted plan of action to guide the Belize Defense Force into the near future has been a work in progress for Commander David Jones.  Since taking up the baton three years ago, a Strategic Defense Review has been among the top priorities for the army general.  That proposal will look at expanding the size of the military, as well as clearly defining the objectives of the B.D.F. over the next five years.  Its implementation, according to Minister of National Security John Saldivar, will be complimented by funds from CABEI to improve physical infrastructures being used by the armed forces.

David Jones

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

“The big thing for the B.D.F. is the first bullet there, the Strategic Defense Review.  We’ve never had a formal document before.  This is the document that has political input, military input in charting the way forward for the Belize Defense Force.  So based on what the size of the force will be, what the goals they want to achieve, the task they want to get from the ministry and the government, the resources that are required to achieve those, what the size of the budget should be, what should be the new ORBAT or formation of the force.  All that will be put in place for this document and we’re looking at a minimum it is a five-year projection as to where you want the force to look like within the next five years.  What you’re going to achieve within the next five years and possibly up to for the next ten years.”

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“I believe that’s one of the things that will be achieved from the CABEI project, in terms of repairing and improving all these facilities across the country.  The general can perhaps go into greater details as to the specifics, the specific areas that will be addressed, but the sixty million dollars that is being invested between the three institutions: the police department, the B.D.F. and the coast guard.  It’s going to significantly improve the physical infrastructure of these three institutions. Over the years we have seen the B.D.F.’s budget grow if only because of the growth in numbers but also as a result of increased investments in equipment and machinery.  The CABEI project is going to see a significant in buildings and equipment and vehicles for the B.D.F.   So this year and in the next three years, as that project is a three-year project, we’re going to see quite a few benefits to the B.D.F.”

Channel 5