US donate diving gear
THE Regional Security System (RSS) Air Wing was yesterday lauded by United States Charge d’Affaires Brent Hardt for the great work they have been doing over the past decade to keep the region safe from illicit narcotics, trafficking and other threats to the region’s maritime borders.
Hardt, speaking at a ceremony to donate US$149 000 in equipment to the RSS and diving equipment for RSS member states, said no one imagined how successful the unit would be. He also spoke of the unit’s impressive success in tracking and interdicting drug traffickers in the region.
“In fact, as one who was involved in bringing these assets to the region, I can recall the concerns expressed at the time about the region’s ability to sustain and maintain these assets,” he recalled.
The Charge d’Affaires, who presented a US$38 000 ground power unit (GPU), used to provide power to aircraft, and a tug valued at US$41 000, noted the two pieces would replace units that had seen better days.
The tug is used for positioning the aircraft in and out of the hangar and towing aircraft to be refuelled. It is also used to tow the GPU into position to provide power to the aircraft.
He said while the regional air wing was only a part of the region’s ability to protect its borders and deter criminal activity, there was also a need for strong maritime capabilities. Diving gear, including fins, masks, tanks, depth indicators and more, valued at US$70 000, was also presented to member states.
Hardt noted each coast guard or marine police unit would receive five sets of dive gear. Two interceptor vessels will be provided to each member country.
Regional Security Coordinator Grantley Watson, in expressing the system’s gratitude for the equipment, noted one of the major concerns was that there were limitations in conducting dive operations because of little equipment.