Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has showered praise on the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) for contributing to the country???s security and stability.

The Prime Minister was addressing the BDF???s 36th anniversary parade at its Paragon, Christ Church, base last Saturday.

Mr. Stuart noted that it was ???universally accepted??? that national security was an ???inescapable responsibility of the modern state if it is to safeguard its interests and promote and project its values in order to secure and sustain prosperity and development for its people???.

He continued: ???In simple terms, there cannot be any real and sustained development without the existence of a safe, secure and stable environment. You, the loyal men and women of the BDF, contribute significantly to this national endeavour.???

The Prime Minister pointed to the interdiction by the Barbados Coast Guard of 2,759 pounds of marijuana, 140 kilogrammes of cocaine and the seizure of three vessels over the past year. The Barbados Regiment, he added, was credited with the seizure and destruction of 11,644 marijuana plants.

???The street value of these seized drugs is estimated to be approximately $8,326,000.00. ???I commend the Force???s ongoing efforts in partnership with the Royal Barbados Police Force to stem the flow of drugs into the country and to stamp out cultivation within the country. These joint operations serve to protect our communities and ensure that the level of crime, in particular the associated proliferation of illegal firearms to commit violent acts, remains under tight control,??? Mr. Stuart stated.

In his remarks, Chief of Staff, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, thanked the past and present staff of the BDF for their contribution over the 36 years of the organisation???s existence, and assured the audience that the armed forces ???stood ready to respond as required by the State and its citizens”.

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