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Army fine with what it has

Mike King

Army fine with what it has

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The?global economic recession has had an impact on this country’s defence budget.
At a Press briefing on Tuesday, Barbados Defence Force chief of staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne acknowledged that now was not the time for this country to have an expansion in manpower and hardware.
“I don’t think I would require any more resources at this time, bearing in mind the existing turbulence from a financial standpoint, not only in Barbados but worldwide. I think it would not be appropriate to seek further calls on the Treasury of Barbados to expand the Defence Force whether in manpower or resources.
“The threat is always going to guide the nature of the force that any member state has. I don’t think it would be appropriate at this time to engage in any greater detail on such issues, but suffice it to say, we will continue to work with the resources that the people of Barbados have provided to the Defence Force.
“We will make good with whatever we have in the interest of the people of Barbados and, by extension, the wider Caribbean region,” he said.
Quintyne who has been head of the local armed forces since 2003, is on a high after receiving one of the highest awards the United States government can give to any member of a foreign military. On Tuesday, General Douglas Fraser, Commander of the United States Southern Command, presented the Legion of Merit to Quintyne. Quintyne promised that the Defence Force would continue to be an important cog in the regional security wheel.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who has responsibility for Defence and Security, also spoke at the briefing. He said the region had a responsibility to ensure that it took full advantage of the programmes being offered by the United States Southern Command. Stuart added that in this regard Barbados would ensure that the Regional Security System (RSS) and the Defence Force continued to partner with US?Southern Command through initiatives such as the State Partnership Programme and the Tradewinds Exercise to build military capabilities.
The Prime Minister also announced that Barbados would host next year’s Tradewinds Exercise, adding that it would provide an opportunity for this country’s security forces to be exposed to modern techniques in disaster management and mitigation, counter-narcotics and other law enforcement training.