The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM


Bahamas National Security Minister welcomes 74 new RBDF recruits
By Gena Gibbs, BIS
May 3, 2013 - 3:19:29 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
0061.JPG
Minister of National Security the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage inspects the marines of New Entry 50 and Woman Entry 20 during the Passing Out Ceremony, May 2, at HMBS Coral Harbour. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Nassau, The Bahamas --  Seventy-four new marines were added to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) at the May 2 Passing out Ceremony at the Coral Harbour Base of New Entry 50 and Woman Entry 20.  

National Security Minister the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage was in attendance and recognised the 49 males and 25 females as the largest entry in the history of the Defence Force to have successfully completed New Entry Training.

"Over the past 17 weeks since you entered the gates of HMBS Coral Harbour on the 12 January, you were exposed to both the theoretical and practical for 18 subject areas, which included professional areas such as Seamanship, Navigation, Small Arms, and First Aid as well as academic areas such as Mathematics and English.  During training you were also taught the importance of discipline and character development.  Additionally, you underwent a vigorous physical training programme.  Together, these are all critical tools that form the foundation of your career in this military establishment."

Dr. Nottage reminded the new marines that the RBDF currently patrols 100,000 square miles of sea and over 2,000 islands, rocks, and cays to ensure the safety and security of The Bahamas against transnational criminals and their illicit activities.  He said the mission is a demanding one that calls on, and challenges every Officer and Marine to defend the sovereignty of The Bahamas, and assist with maintaining law and order.  Dr. Nottage also mentioned the RBDF is known for performing humanitarian tasks in conjunction with local and regional partners.

0098.JPG
Minister of National Security the Hon Dr. Bernard Nottage presents Marine Recruit Tevin Williams with the award for Best Male Recruit, during the New Entry 50 and Woman Entry 20 Passing Out Ceremony, May 2, at HMBS Coral Harbour. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

He said the Defence Force's decentralisation strategy remains a primary focus and that by establishing bases throughout The Bahamas, the Defence Force aims to maintain a continuous presence at strategic points throughout the Bahamian archipelago. 

"This, we believe, will act as a deterrent against transnational maritime threats as well as enable the Defence Force to enhance its capacity to apprehend foreign poachers, illegal migrants, human traffickers, and drug and firearm smugglers, who seek to violate our laws and diminish our prospects for peace and prosperity," said Dr. Nottage.

Dr Nottage said the Bahamas Government is currently looking forward to the rapid development of a base at Gun Point in Ragged Island and that this strategic location in the southern Bahamas will allow the Defence Force to maintain a constant presence in the Great Bahama Bank area where foreign poachers are known to plunder marine resources.

He said construction of the harbour is nearing completion to facilitate mailboats, as well as to accommodate the Defence Force's 200-foot patrol craft.  Plans are also being developed to construct a modern base facility, designed to accommodate up to 35 marines adjacent to the harbour.

Minister Nottage said the Defence Force is conducting strategic operations out of the island of Bimini, with the pending increases in boating activity in the Western Bahamas.  He noted that the joint Port Security Operations with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to facilitate ferries and cruise ships operating out of Florida have yielded positive results.

"The Government of The Bahamas is currently in negotiations with Damen Shipyards that is based in The Netherlands, for the acquisition of eight medium to long-range patrol vessels over the next three years with the first vessels scheduled to arrive in The Bahamas by mid-2014," said Dr. Nottage.

"This acquisition will also include an auxiliary vessel to provide timely transport of emergency relief supplies to disaster-stricken areas around our archipelago, and the development of new and existing bases and harbour facilities at Coral Harbour, Mathew Town, Gun Point, Ragged Island and in the northern Bahamas."

0095.JPG
Samantha Paul is presented with the Best Female Recruit Award from Minister of National Security the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, during the New Entry 50 and Woman Entry 20 Passing Out Ceremony, May 2, at HMBS Coral Harbour. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Dr Nottage said the Acquisition Project, also termed the Sandy Bottom Project, will support the Force's decentralisation strategy and will significantly improve the Defence Force's operational response time to maritime incidents.

"The Sandy Bottom Project will represent the single largest capital investment the Government of The Bahamas would have made in the 33year existence of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.  In total, the project will cost approximately $200 million.  In addition to the vessels and infrastructural assets I referred to earlier, it will provide employment opportunity for more than 800 new service members thus substantially increasing the manpower of the Defence Force from its current complement of 1154 to 1900 Officers and Marines over a three to four year period," said Dr. Nottage.

Dr Nottage reminded the marines that as a sea-going force, all recruits are required to serve abroad sea-going patrol craft.  He said the Force is required to detect, deter, and impede the flow of illegal immigration through our borders and are also expected to intervene and arrest those who poach in our waters, to assist with Search and Rescue operations, to support local and regional law enforcement partners, and provide relief assistance during times of disasters or national emergencies.

"As members of the Defence Force, you are leaders in your own right.  You help set the standard of excellence for others to emulate.  You are among our nation's finest.  You are a part of a flexible, dependable, adaptable, and dynamic organisation that consists of some of the most highly trained professionals of the modern Bahamas.  I encourage you to wear your uniform with pride and maintain the highest standard of integrity and military bearing wherever you go on or off the job," said Dr. Nottage.

Dr Nottage urged the newest members of the Force to be steadfast and confident in their abilities. He said it will not be easy, but with God, all things are possible. 

"Your country is depending on you; your families are depending on you in fulfilling this great call to 'Guard our Heritage'," said Dr. Nottage.

Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Enter your Email Address


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Bahamas Information Services Updates
Latest Headlines
Dame Marguerite and DPM Davis Join US Celebration of Independence
Bahamas Prime Minister / Outgoing CARICOM Chairman remarks at 36th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government
Completion and Opening of Baha Mar of Paramount Importance to The Bahamas, Says Attorney General
Bahamas Ministry of Finance Comments on Standard and Poor’s Rating Update
Bahamas Attorney General Statement on Baha Mar Court Proceedings
Bahamas Prime Minister: Baha Mar Opening a National Priority
Stakeholders review proposals for greater regulation of Fly Fishing
The Bahamas Welcomes Cuba / USA Ties
ZNS Northern Service Re-launches Power 104.5
More than $2,000 in cash & prizes go to Autism Spectrum Awareness Essay Contest winners
30th Anniversary celebrations of Canon Peter Scott attended by Bahamas Governor General‏
Exuma Straw Market Vendors Receive Government Grant Assistance
Urban Renewal Domestic Violence and Conflict Resolution Seminar Held
Know Your Status: HIV Testing Day‏ Held in Rawson Square
Minister Fitzgerald closing remarks at 19CCEM
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Cup Yields Prizes and Cheque to Governor General’s Youth Award Programme
Bahamas Prime Minister's statement on Baha Mar bankruptcy filing
Bahamas Applauded for Its Hosting of 19th CCEM
(Photos) 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (19CCEM)
Bahamian Culture on Display at 19th CCEM
Mitchell responds to critics and updates the media on immigration matters
Bahamian Wins A Top Award in Photo Competition in China
Design for Change receives Top Good Practice Award at 19CCEM
Hon. Keith Bell 2015/2016 Bahamas Budget Communication
19CCEM Commonwealth Recognition Awards for Outstanding Young Delegates
St. John’s Alumnus Hope Strachan Cheers Graduating Class
Social Services Minister Introduces RISE at Town Meeting
Bahamas Immigration responds to Grand Bahama Human Rights Association
Education Critical to Tackling Challenges Faced by the Commonwealth
Bahamas responds to 2014 United States Human Rights Report
19CCEM Official Photograph
Bahamas showcased in Mexico City at BFSB "Landfall" event
Bahamas PM Says Role of University Key in Scripting National Development
(Photos) 19 CCEM Youth Forum in Session‏
19CCEM Youth Forum Participants Enjoy a Night at Balmoral Club
19CCEM Small States Forum Ponders Strategies for Resiliency
85 Bahamians Selected to Take Part in the First China-Bahamas Bilateral Training Programme
Education for All (EFA) Goals Not Achieved
Hawksbill Creek Agreement Report Presented to the Prime Minister
Airport Post Office Re-Opens