This morning 7News and other media houses got a last minute invitation to attend a graduation ceremony at the Coast Guard Headquarters. But as soon as we got there, we were un-invited – and that’s because the US Navy training was classified. We later got the story in a press release form the ministry of national security.

24 members of the Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) participated in a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.

The release says they were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy in Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Weapon-Handling Skills, Waterborne Techniques among other areas.

The release says this is moving towards development of what is called the Belize Coastguard Seal Team. It adds that “The Coastguard Seal Team is the special operating arm of the Belize National Coastguard, and is charged with the responsibility of conducting high-risk operations, counter-narcotics operations, counter-terrorism operations, and maritime interception operations.”

Channel 7

Belize Coast Guard SEALS get U.S. training

The Belize National Coast Guard is preparing to crack down hard on illegal drug trafficking with the assistance of the United States Navy, which provided U.S. Navy SEALS instructors for an intensive five-week training course in special warfare operations, which 24 Coast Guard officers and five Anti-Drug Unit Police officers completed this Wednesday, May 15.

This was the third phase of training for the officers of this elite unit, which will now be responsible for high-risk operations such as interceptions of suspected illegal drug traffickers at sea, since they have also been trained in counter-terrorist tactics.

This crack unit received all the specialized training they’ll need for waterborne operations: navigation, communications, small-boat handling, boarding, search and seizure, operation of radar equipment and geographical positioning systems and weapons handling.

The Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command, Vice Admiral Joseph D. Kernan, joined Coast Guard Commandant Rear Admiral John Borland for the graduation ceremonies at Coast Guard headquarters at mile 4 ½ on the George Price highway on Wednesday morning, where Kernan addressed the 29 officers who completed this rigorous training.

Borland thanked Kernan for the US. Navy’s help as he presented a plaque embossed with an image of the Coast guard SEAL team.

The National Security Council Secretariat’s Deputy Director, Major Oscar Mira and the senior military liaison officer, Major Alvin Amoa also attended the ceremony.

The Reporter