Members of the Barbados Defence Force march past as Prime Minister David Thompson looks on.

Young people thinking of a career should take into consideration the enormous opportunities available in the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) for life skills training, education, technical training, the acquisition of worthwhile trades and the possibility of travel.

Prime Minister David Thompson made this observation as he addressed the recently held 29th Anniversary Parade of the BDF at the Garrison Savannah.

Noting that he would like to see an increase in the current establishment of 592 regular servicemen and women in the BDF, Mr. Thompson said if the “group of smartly turned out and disciplined servicemen and women is typical of what the BDF can produce, it speaks volumes for the capacity of the organisation".     

Expressing satisfaction in the BDF’s success in living up to its motto of pursuing excellence, the Prime Minister said that it was in recognition of that outstanding performance, that a comprehensive organisational review of the Force had started. The review will inform the strategic plan for the enhancement of the BDF. 

Members of the Barbados Defence Force 2008 intake display their physical training. 

He noted that provision was being made to implement a building programme that involved refurbishing current facilities and constructing multi-purpose barracks. “My Government is committed to supporting the Barbados Defence Force as a major tool for developing our country and asserting a positive national identity,” Mr. Thompson added.

He also commended the BDF for excelling in the areas of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. “Whether the disasters are man-made or natural, the BDF is invariably among the first rescuers on the spot. Last year, this country faced a number of disasters, and on every occasion the response of the BDF had been efficient, compassionate and immediate,” he observed.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that increasingly, the BDF was playing a role in assisting the Royal Barbados Police Force in maintaining law and order. “At major events like Crop Over, the BDF can be relied upon to bolster the capacity of our Police Force to control crowds and deter criminals.

“I am particularly pleased whenever I see members of the BDF deployed as symbols of freedom and national unity, ensuring that Barbadians and our visitors can safely and peacefully enjoy themselves anywhere,” he said.

During the BDF’s 29th Anniversary Parade, the Prime Minister presented awards to members of the Force for their sterling efforts at the Brittons Hill cave-in last year. In addition, the Defence Board Commendation was awarded to members of the Barbados Regiment and the Barbados Coast Guard, and Certificates of Appreciation were presented to staff of the Data Processing Department.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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