The Governor General has been issuing directions to the Chief of Staff to provide military assistance to the civil power and authorities twice a year for over two decades.
This assertion has come from Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Colonel Glyne Grannum, in response to an article appearing in the Wednesday, February 21, 2018, edition of online newspaper Barbados Today. The article stated that in a move to prepare for the poll, “the local military has been given the green light to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force to maintain public order”.
However, Colonel Grannum said: “The Governor-General’s directions to the Barbados Defence Force are the legal instrument through which the Force has been employed in support of the Royal Barbados Police Force continuously since the early 1990s.
“The directions, issued in December and June of each year, have therefore been renewed every six months for over 25 years. The Governor-General’s directions to the Barbados Defence Force also provide the legal underpinning for the assistance provided to the Royal Barbados Police Force for counternarcotics operations and to counter incidents of crime which negatively impact public safety. Any suggestion that the issuance of the Governor-General’s directions is linked to any electoral process is grossly misleading.”
The Chief of Staff explained that from as far back as the 1980s, the Governor-General, in exercise of powers under the Laws of Barbados, specifically Section 9 (2) of the Defence Act Cap. 159, has been issuing directions to the Chief of Staff to provide military assistance to the civil power and authorities.
He pointed out that this was done when the BDF first assisted the Ministry of Agriculture and the Royal Barbados Police Force with such operational matters as the conduct of patrols to deter and detect fires/arson of the sugar cane crop, the joint patrols for the protection of tourists visiting beaches and rural scenic attractions and for the annual Crop Over Festival.