The Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) joint operations with the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to rid Barbados of illegal guns and drugs has netted significant results over the last eight months.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall, said the operational campaign, which got under way on January 14, saw the BDF deploying 853 joint gun interdiction patrols through the Barbados Regiment as an operation multiplier for the RBPF.
He was speaking during the BDF’s 40th anniversary parade and sunset ceremony at the army’s St. Ann’s Fort base on Saturday.
“This reinforcing effort has had a positive effect through building public confidence, deterring acts of crime, and overall reducing the level of gun crime. The patrol programme has set favourable conditions to enable and empower additional strategies employed by the Police Force,” Mr. Marshall stated.
On the maritime side, he said BDF operations resulted in the interdiction of 2.9 tonnes of marijuana and 40.7 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of over $26 million.
The Barbados Coast Guard (BCG) also conducted 847 patrols over 20,725 nautical miles and executed 17 search and rescue operations.
Mr. Marshall added that as the Government pursued its agenda for the blue economy, the BCG would continue to play a critical role in the protection of the country’s interests, ably supported by the tactical resources of the Regional Security System, of which Barbados is a treaty member.
And, he encouraged troops on parade to continue doing what was best for the safety of the Barbadian public and its Caribbean neighbours.
“Our Barbadian military plays a key role in the preservation of a safe and peaceful environment in Barbados. This is needed for our national development,” he affirmed.
Mr. Marshall said the contemporary threat environment was complex and demanded a multidisciplinary, multinational network strategic response.
“In treating to them, there must be a whole of government approach that leverages the legal, social, economic, law enforcement, and our defence systems.
“In addition to the global risks and threats presented by transnational criminal organizations and terrorists entities, it is important for the BDF to be part of the increasing of our security apparatus. We need the military to assist us in stabilizing Barbados as well during a disaster, crisis or emergency,” the Attorney General noted.
He added that the parade was one of recognition that honoured the men and women serving on behalf of a grateful nation.
Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of the BDF, Colonel Glyne Grannum, said those serving were proud to do so, and would continue to stand together “with loyalty, pride and dedication” as it pursued the vision and journey to build the best Barbados possible.