NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – The Bahamas government is to announce sweeping changes to the operations of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to include an improved Coral Harbour Base, more resources and a link with the police in crime fighting initiatives.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said that the Ministry of National Security would next week make “a significant communication” on the issues that are impacting the work of the Defence Force and the government’s commitment to improving this.
“Our commitment to add to your manpower, ships and resources that you have, the ability to protect our borders and be able to interdict all of the criminal activities that are taking place whether human smuggling, drugs, gun running or whatever it is to add to your capacity over the next period of time, as a result of the commitment we made to the people of The Bahamas to be of assistance in a specific way to the Defence Force.”
Christie said that improvements would have to be made to the Defence Force Base to improve its infrastructure and make it suitable for the next two decades.
“The first challenge is to recognise that some work needs to be done and then identify and agree what has to be done and that becomes the objective, the goal and it transcends politics in the sense that it may five or 10 years but it is a plan,” he said.
“So whether that takes $20 million, the government has to make a commitment and be resolute in that kind of commitment to make it work,” he added.
Christie said that the Defence Force would also have a more heightened role in “protecting and securing our borders.
“When you are out to sea for two weeks, when you are subjecting yourselves to the weather and the challenges that come with it, when you are going out in hurricane conditions to assist in the protection of the country.
“All of the things you do, when you are subjected to the hazards of interdicting boats that may have serious weaponry, and knowing in the past that some of you have given your lives for the cause of our country and by the very nature of your presence as members of the Royal Bahamas Defence force you are subjecting your lives to risk on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
The Prime Minister said that the government would find a way, to put in policy, for the country to take advantage of the abilities of the Defence Force marines and use them for the greater good of the country.