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US Government assists Government of Jamaica in promoting security

PORT ROYAL, Jamaica – In another sign of the continuing security cooperation between Jamaica and the United States, a second refurbished Dauntless Class patrol vessel was handed over to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard by U.S. Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson at HMJS Cagway in Port Royal earlier this month.

Also in attendance were Commander Innis, Commanding Officer, JDF Coast Guard who characterized the presentation as “a Valentines Gift”.

Ambassador Johnson, presenting the keys of the vessel to Chief of Staff of the JDF Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin noted that the total cost of refurbishing both vessels was US$670,000. She added, “we anticipate that the Government of Jamaica will enable maximum use of the vessels by providing the Coast Guard with sufficient operational resources to meet future challenges.”

US Ambassador to Jamaica Brenda LaGrange Johnson presents the keys of a refurbished Dauntless SeaArk patrol vessel to Chief of Staff, Jamaica Defense Force Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin at a ceremony in Port Royal.

In his remarks Admiral Lewin noted that the vessel was of a class that has been extremely useful for Jamaica, and that the improvements to the vessel would allow greater patrol capabilities.

The vessel turned over was refurbished in Monticello, Arkansas at the cost US$335,000, funded by the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. In July last year, another 40-foot SeaArk patrol boat was handed over to the JDF coast Guard.

Ambassador Johnson highlighted that for 2007 the United States Government has committed an additional US$384,600 for equipment to the Jamaica Defence Force to assist in securing Jamaica’s borders and combating narcotics trafficking. She commended the Jamaican security forces on “the continued concentration on enforcement efforts.”

The US Government also continues to provide training opportunities for the Jamaica Defence Force personnel, as the current one under U.S. Coast Guard Cooperation. Additionally there are currently thirty one members of the JDF participating in various training programs in the United States.

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