Coral Harbour, Bahamas – A ceremony to mark the hand-over of four 43-foot interceptor patrol boats as part of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Initiative, Enduring Friendship was held at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force base in Coral Harbour on Friday, August 1.
The 43-foot interceptor boats are top of the line vessels fitted with the latest state-of-the-art communications and radar equipment. The total value of the four boats and trucks is $3.3 million.
The Bahamas has already received $2.5 in communications equipment that is currently being installed at various base station locations. The new boats will enable the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) to intercept smugglers of drugs or weapons who frequently use “go fast” boats. U.S. Ambassador Ned L. Siegel and the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Tommy Turnquest gave remarks at the event.
Enduring Friendship is a United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) maritime security assistance initiative aimed at assisting and strengthening partner nations’ maritime domain awareness, and operational capabilities to anticipate and respond to threats, maritime emergencies, and natural disasters. Jamaica, Panama and the Dominican Republic are receiving similar assistance.
Enduring Friendship will improve partner nations’ maritime command, control and communications capability, increase partner nation interoperability and integrate partner nations into a common maritime operational picture. It will also lay the foundation for partner nations to participate in maritime information sharing and coalition operations. In conjunction with other U.S. SOUTHCOM efforts, Enduring Friendship will increase maritime security in the Western Hemisphere.
Enduring Friendship is a multi-year maritime security assistance initiative that supports the President’s Western Hemisphere strategy, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the United States Southern Command’s Theater Security Cooperation Strategy and Panama’s Secure Trade and Transportation Initiative.