BDF on the Way to Self-Sufficiency

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??PM Freundel Stuart pins the Efficiency??Medal on Jewyl Ward, retired Captain of the Barbados Regiment, for his dedicated service to the Barbados Defence Force for over a decade, yesterday, at the BDF’s 32nd Anniversary Ceremonial??Parade at St.??Ann’s Fort, the Garrison, St. Michael.?? (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Although military organisations around the world are being labelled as revenue burners because they do not make direct economic contributions to their respective states, the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is taking steps to reduce the economic burden on taxpayers.

To this end, the island’s lone military institution has so far collected $22,000 for the year from the rental of the Main Guard and over $168,000 since that facility was first rented in 2006.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart yesterday commended the BDF for this initiative, while addressing the institution’s 32nd Anniversary Ceremonial Parade at St. Ann’s Fort, the Garrison, St. Michael.

"These funds are used for the upkeep of the building and the BDF is now allowing the public to hire some of its facilities and is using the rental fees to help maintain its own buildings.?? An example is the Officers’ Mess…which has been hired out for wedding receptions," he noted.

Mr. Stuart also alluded to the soldiers’ agricultural project now in its embryonic stage, that would result in the institution being self-sufficient in crops such as peppers, lettuce, pumpkin, okras, cabbage and other garden varieties.

"I applaud this initiative which, once fully established, could result in the BDF partially sustaining itself, thereby reducing the Force’s food bill and by extension, Barbados’ food import bill as well.

"Unfortunately, these efforts provide only limited assistance with the Force’s building maintenance costs," he lamented.

The Prime Minister also commended the members of the BDF’s Sports Programme for their achievements in the sporting arena here and abroad.?? In addition, he lauded the creation of an academic achievement plan, in keeping with the Human Resources Development Strategy 2011-2016, which is aimed at the total development of its members.??

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??A detachment of the Barbados Coast Guard marching in time at yesterday’s BDF’s 32nd Anniversary Ceremonial Parade at St. Ann’s Fort, the Garrison, St. Michael.?? (C.Pitt/BGIS)

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"These young men and women have emulated the standards for which the Barbados Defence Force is known.?? In this regard, the Force’s Code of Conduct which was mentioned earlier, was produced as a guide to remind all members of the very high level of moral and ethical conduct expected of them at all times," Mr. Stuart stressed.

The Prime Minister congratulated the BDF on attaining another significant milestone and expressed confidence in its ability to be a symbol of excellence for this country.

julie.wilson@barbados.gov.bb

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