Canada To Donate Equipment To The Belize Defence Force

OTTAWA — Cana­da will donate 2,000 sur­plus util­i­ty vests to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) in sup­port of Canada’s Amer­i­c­as’ Strat­e­gy and broad­er com­mit­ments to sup­port Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­tries in their efforts to address the secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion in the region.

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“This dona­tion of util­i­ty vests is anoth­er exam­ple of our government’s grow­ing coop­er­a­tion with Amer­i­can coun­tries and Belize in par­tic­u­lar,” said the Hon­ourable Peter MacK­ay. “The dona­tion of these vests to the Belize Defence Force sup­ports a region­al part­ner and bet­ter enables them in their efforts to address secu­ri­ty chal­lenges in their coun­try and region.”

Declared sur­plus by the Cana­di­an Forces, these util­i­ty vests have mul­ti­ple func­tions and are com­posed of pock­ets for arms and addi­tion­al pock­ets for alter­na­tive use such as small radios and First Aid kits.

This dona­tion of equip­ment is in response to a BDF request for Cana­di­an Forces’ assis­tance with the acqui­si­tion of vests, and will sup­port BDF oper­a­tions and train­ing. These 2,000 load car­ry­ing vests rep­re­sent a sur­plus to the needs of the Cana­di­an Forces. This sup­port for Belize is a tan­gi­ble exam­ple of Canada’s imple­men­ta­tion of its objec­tive, under the Amer­i­c­as’ Strat­e­gy, to address inse­cu­ri­ty and advance free­dom, democ­ra­cy, human rights and the rule of law through capac­i­ty build­ing.

“Cana­da will con­tin­ue to work with Belize and our oth­er Cen­tral Amer­i­can part­ners to help strength­en secu­ri­ty insti­tu­tions and increase capac­i­ty to respond to imme­di­ate secu­ri­ty threats in our hemi­sphere,” said the Hon­ourable Diane Ablon­czy, Min­is­ter of State of For­eign Affairs (Amer­i­c­as and Con­sular Affairs).

“I am very pleased we were able to make this trans­fer of equip­ment to the Belize Defence Force hap­pen,” said Gen­er­al Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. “It is very impor­tant that we con­tin­ue to engage and coop­er­ate with our defence part­ners in the Amer­i­c­as when­ev­er we are able. It is my hope we will con­tin­ue to devel­op our rela­tion­ships through­out the region in the com­ing years.”

Major-Gen­er­al Richard Fos­ter, Deputy Com­man­der, Cana­da Com­mand will trans­port the vests to Belize City, Belize, for pre­sen­ta­tion to senior offi­cials of the BDF on behalf of Cana­da.

Cana­da and Belize share a Com­mon­wealth his­to­ry, many val­ues and cul­tur­al ties. Belize has been a mem­ber of the Mil­i­tary Train­ing and Coop­er­a­tion Pro­gram since 1983 and Cana­da and Belize have shared pos­i­tive bilat­er­al rela­tions since its inde­pen­dence.

Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence, Cana­da