Monday 27 January, 2020

US Coast Guard commends JDF for role in counter-drug operations

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard in action at sea.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard in action at sea.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has received commendation from the United States Coast Guard for its role in drug interdiction on the Caribbean Sea.

The US Coast Guard heaped praise on the JDF following a more than two-month deployment on the Caribbean Sea, which also involved the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

According to the US Coast Guard, during the 71-day deployment, the crew of the cutter ‘Resolute’ was ably assisted by the JDF and Dutch Caribbean Coast guards in counter-drug operations.

“When considering the vastness of the ocean, the governing legal regimes and associated jurisdictional complexities, a whole-of-government approach is essential to the effective take down of would-be smugglers,” the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

It said that the US Embassy Kingston Defence Attaché Office hosted a reception on board the Resolute in Kingston “to celebrate and reinforce military and diplomatic ties between Jamaica and the US”.

At the event, Major General Rocky Meade, JDF Chief of Defence Staff, and Chargé d' Affaires Eric Khant, was said to have signed a “notable agreement to assign a JDF liaison officer to the Joint Inter-agency Task Force-South in Key West, Florida.”

Continuing, the US Coast Guard statement said: “The position is designed to provide improved collaboration and information-sharing,” adding that, “Jamaica is a critical partner in our efforts to combat the efforts of trans-national criminal networks seeking to exploit the maritime domain.

“The officers and crew of ‘Resolute’ were humbled to be part of this unique event, and we were honoured to host senior officials from the US Embassy, Jamaican national security staff, and Jamaica Defence Force.”

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