The Barbados Coast Guard’s (BCG) fleet has been strengthened with the inclusion of Endurance – a patrol craft – which was donated by the People’s Republic of China.
And, during the Christening Ceremony at HMBS Pelican last Friday, Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Glyne Grannum, said the vessel would help in capacity building, as his organisation fulfilled its mission to defend and secure Barbados and its interests as a contribution to national and regional development.
Colonel Grannum continued: “We are all well aware of the many risks and threats we face. The increasingly severe effects of climate change, damage to fragile ecosystems and maritime transnational criminality are among those which come readily to mind.
“In addition to meeting the threats, it is important to bear in mind that the BDF is indeed a partner in securing the many opportunities that our 183,436 square kilometre space of ocean treasures, over 420 times the size of the terrestrial land mass, present for us and future generations.”
He noted that these treasures were a part of the global maritime economy, estimated to be worth in excess of US$3 trillion. According to him, the BDF recognised that for Barbados to exploit its maritime treasures and blue economy, the Force must partner with a wide community of stakeholders across the public and private sectors, individual citizens, visitors, regional and international states and organisations.
“I wish to posit that this ceremony can perhaps also be seen as representative of a wider future strategic thrust in regard to building capacity for an effective strategy for Barbados’ Blue Economy in that a key enabler must be cooperation – inter-organisational, inter-ministerial, regional and international cooperation. As would be expected, the Barbados Defence Force, through the Barbados Coast Guard, stands ready to be a vital partner in this regard,” the Chief of Staff stressed.
Colonel Grannum thanked the Chinese Government, saying the BDF had been the recipient of military assistance from China since 2000. He gave the assurance that the vessel would be put to good use in the furtherance of Barbados’ national goals in defence and security, safety of life at sea and for the strategic development of the country’s blue economy.
Endurance is a 958-series patrol craft which joined the family of inshore patrol and interceptor vessels in the BCG, namely Endeavour, Enterprise, and Excellence.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley participated in the Naming Ceremony of the vessel before it sailed away.