U.S. Military to Build Schools and Roads in Belize

Beginning next week the U.S. Army along with the Belize Defense Force (BDF) will begin construction of eight schools and public buildings and road improvement projects in Belize.

Projects include new school extension buildings at Hattieville, La Democracia, Sand Hill, Ladyville and Zion Park; a school renovation at Freetown Sibun; and a bathroom for the Dangriga School. The Army Engineers will improve seven miles of the Burrell Boom to Hattieville road as well as three miles of the Hattieville to Freetown Sibun road. Ambassador Bruno of the United States says, "We are coordinating closely with Minister Hulse and the Ministry of Works to ensure that the road construction projects provide maximum value to Belize."

Three medical readiness exercises will also be conducted and more than 12,000 people will receive health care from teams of doctors, nurses and medical technicians. The medical treatment exercises will be conducted in ten villages throughout the Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts.

The exercise, dubbed "New Horizons," has a scheduled purpose of providing U.S. military personnel with realistic construction and medical training as well as the skills required to deploy outside of the continental United States. It is also designed to assist the government of Belize to improve infrastructure and help provide Belizeans with better education and medical services. Lt. Col. Clifford Oliver, Task Force Pelican Commander, said, "We are especially grateful for the assistance of Minister of National Security Dean Barrow and General Arthurs, and for the Belize Defence Force's participation in the exercise. It is an honor and privilege to work with a reliable friend and good neighbor in such a worthy undertaking."

The U.S. military will spend approximately BZ$23 million to bring this exercise to Belize. Nearly $2 million will be spent on materials for road work and construction and most of the construction materials will be purchased in Belize. U.S. soldiers are expected to spend approximately $1.56 million in Belize during the exercise period which lasts from January until June of this year.

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