Meet the new SEALS of the Belize National Coast Guard
While the coastguard is under scrutiny for the shameful incident involving the detention of a boat carrying the Dominican Prime Minister, a team of eight operators attached to the Coastguard Seals graduated this morning. The ceremony was held at the coastguard headquarters at mile four on the George Price Highway. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
A brief commencement exercise for the inaugural class of Sea Air and Land operators, SEAL Team 001, was held by the Belize National Coast Guard this morning, following twelve weeks of rigorous training. An initial intake of nineteen officers whittled down to a cohort of eight spirited men, who were pushed to extreme physical limits during the grueling course.
Admiral John Borland, Commander, Belize National Coast Guard
“You now belong to a distinguish family of special operating forces, an achievement which is uncommon among the common men. But as they say, the reward for your hard work is always hard work. You are now responsible to set the standards by which the coastguard will operate. You have to remain sharp, focused; maintaining that operational readiness and situation awareness that sets you apart from everyone. As you transition into operations, you will be tested, but nothing will compare to what you have been through.”
And what they have been through can only be described as hell. These men were subjected to the harshest conditions imaginable and braved the elements.
Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security
“They are at different level of combat readiness and situational awareness. They are operators that can be trusted with any mission and at any condition. They are simply an instrument of power that can be brought to bear anywhere within the spectrum of conflict that we have that threatens this nation.”
The introduction of an elite team of operators, according to the Deputy Commander of Special Operations, Command South, was the vision of Admiral John Borland.
Col. Post, Deputy Commander, Spec Ops, Command South
“What is within our lane, what are the things we can do to help meet Admiral’s vision? And honestly the first one was that we can help them develop this Seal capability. So I go to Uni-Forth and say hey, this is something we want to do. So then he reaches out, goes up to the group and then pushes it back down. So now we have here Commander Monts and Commander Rizzy, for the commanders of the seals, and all those fine young men that came down here and provided that training for the two graduations today. And that all culminated in where we are now with three months of training, a month of adja-set; the boats working with the seals so that they have that understanding and that cohesion and ultimately leading to your graduation. So while moving parts and pieces, it always starts with somebody having a vision and that somebody was Admiral Borland. And I want to thank you for bringing that vision to my attention and I want to thank you for bringing me back here to see it come to its fruition.”
Another intake of prospective Coast Guard SEALs will be held in 2014. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.
Belize's Coast Guard Navy Seals Ready For The World
In August we showed you the slightly bizarre training regime for Belize's first Coast Guard Navy Seals. They had to bathe in mud, crawl on all fours under a midday sun, and then jump into a pool of ice cold water to sing the national anthem. Well after months of training like this, the highly specialized unit graduated today, as the pride of a Coast Guard that is quickly finding its way as a key part of Belize's security apparatus: