So, the lesson that the Government of Belize has learnt is that in order for them to conduct operations as widespread as these, they have no choice but to acquire their own helicopters. Today, the Ministry of National Security announced that officials are engaging in talks about how to fund Belize's own helicopter fleet:
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"This is certainly a must have asset for Belize, if we are to continue to get concrete results. My government has been brief on the cost implications of owning and sustaining this asset but we believe that the benefits will out way the costs so I would like to publicly mention that this government is committed to any serious cost share arrangement that our partners are prepare to undertake in the acquisition of helicopters for Belize."
Brigadier General David Jones - Commander, Belize Defence Force
"I'm quite serious about these talks because I have mentioned this proposal for some time now, for the past 3 years or so. We have been sending some of our pilots to Jamaica to get actual helicopter training and the type of helicopter that we're interested in is the same type of helicopter that we've been sending our pilots to do training on. The government has committed to share the cost of maintaining these helicopters. One of these helicopters cost about 2.9 million US dollars and a little over a million Belize dollars to maintain which
the government has shown support that they're willing to share the cost and make sure this happen."
The BDF has been trying very hard to find a suitable replacement for the BATSUB helicopter support they lost when the unit downsized.