Canadian High Commissioner, Ruth Archibald looks at the computer equipment with Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Information Technology (IT) capability of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) has been greatly enhanced thanks to the donation of CND$250,000 worth of state-of-the art computer equipment.

The hardware was handed over to the Chief of Staff of the BDF, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, by Canadian High Commissioner, Ruth Archibald, during a ceremony yesterday at Paragon, Christ Church.?? The upgrade will allow for greater storage capacity, and enhanced connectivity among bases through the use of Wi-Fi.

High Commissioner Archibald explained that this was the second tranche of equipment given to the Force and it would replace the first set of hardware that was donated approximately six years ago. She noted that the computer equipment was needed because the requirements of the BDF had grown "way beyond the capacity".

She described the handing over of the computer equipment as a small part of the overall assistance programme that had seen the creation of an IT Centre of Excellence at the BDF. She added that the overall project had been funded at a cost of CND$450,000 over the years.

The High Commissioner pointed out that although such projects had to be discontinued in other countries, the Canadian government was pleased to make the donation to the BDF, since the force was seen as a strategic partner.

In his response, Colonel Quintyne thanked the Department of Defence of Canada for the technical assistance and said the support provided would positively influence the daily operations, command functions and management processes of the Force at all of its bases.

He said: "Through your technical assistance, over 850 members of staff of various government ministries and departments have benefitted from attending various IT courses that are conducted in the BDF’s IT training lab…."

The Chief of staff explained that the training lab had also allowed several public officers, enlisted ranks of the BDF and their families to improve their academic qualifications.

The IT partnership between the BDF and the Canadian Department of National Defence forms part of the Military Training and Cooperation Programme which has spanned some 15 years.


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