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Finger pier at HMBS Pelican officially opened
ADDITIONAL co-operation between the United States Government and Barbados is expected to add another dimension to processes already in place to keep the territorial waters of the island safe from the illicit trafficking of illegal drugs.
Yesterday the Finger Pier at HMBS Pelican was officially opened by Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, and Marine Major General John Croley, and witnessed by a
number of high ranking military officials in attendance.
The pier, worth US$225 000, was designed by US officials but constructed by local company MARENCO and can accommodate a minimum of two small boats comfortably.
Colonel Quintyne, while thanking the US Government through USSOUTHCOM, explained that the fixed structure was made primarily for the Exercise Tradewinds 2012, but will augur well for the work being carried out by local law enforcement officials on the high seas.
“...The primary use is for Exercise Tradewinds, [but] the Marine Police of Barbados would also find this to be very welcoming in terms of having easier access to their vessels,” he said.
The BDF head drew the audience’s attention to the south of the pier, where there were approximately 120 vessels that were seized within the territorial waters of Barbados over the past six to seven years.
“And it is from this new, small boat pier that I expect not only the Barbados Coast Guard small boats, but the Marine Unit, to launch on a daily basis to dominate our maritime space, and where necessary to return to this pier with similar vessels, therefore removing that scourge of the illicit trafficking of illegal drugs from our waters.”
Major General Crowley, while highlighting the long-term relationship that exists between Barbados and the United States, said the initiative was designed to be applied to the mission for the security and the sovereignty of Barbados and its territorial waters.
“This is not something that we stand alone, but we stand together.
“We have organisations out there in the world that have no respect for our sovereign borders, whether it be the USA, Barbados or any of the island nations in the Eastern Caribbean area, and this is a significant achievement.
“We hope that this will leverage that ability to go out there and reach out those elements, those organisations that have no respect for law and order in our sovereign nations that make up the Eastern Caribbean,” he added.