On Thursday, January 9, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman, Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage, Minister of State for National Security, Sen. Keith Bell, Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Roderick Bowe and other senior U.S. and Bahamian government officials participated in a handover ceremony of maritime equipment at the RBDF’s Harbour Patrol Unit on East Bay Street.
The event marked the latest donation by the U.S. Embassy to The Bahamas Government, which valued at $431,000 USD was made possible by the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) and the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
The equipment includes a top of the line 25-foot Full Cabin Secure All-around Flotation Equipped) SAFE response vessel, a two-year supply of spare parts and a two-week training course for RBDF marines to enhance border security.
In his remarks, Chargé Dinkelman noted that the equipment will be used to enhance border security, better protect Bahamian citizens as well as the millions of tourists who visit The Bahamas via cruise ships each year.
“This donation is only the most recent of many examples of the continuing United States commitment to support and assist the defence force in their unwavering efforts to protect and defend The Bahamas,” Chargé Dinkelman said. “Despite difficult fiscal times, we intend to continue our investments in this great partnership for we cannot waiver in our resolve to confront and defeat the threats that affect both our nations.”
Since August of 2011, over $1.1M in military equipment and training has been provided to the RBDF through the United States Foreign Military Financing program. In his address, Minister Nottage acknowledged the generosity of the U.S. Embassy through the Foreign Military Financing Program. He highlighted that it stands as a major testament to the commitment and tremendous support of the United States Government in the continued fight against transnational threats.
“The addition of this 25-foot full cabin response boat not only adds operational value to the sustainability of the defence force’s security efforts, but also ensures that the defence force maintains a competitive advantage within The Bahamas’ maritime domain.”
Minister Nottage added, “It is critical to note that the response boat will operate primarily within Nassau’s Harbour supplementing the defence force’s existing harbor patrol vessels and ensuring the safety and security of thousands of visitors and the economic viability of The Bahamas’ tourism product.”
US Embassy, Nassau
Photo 1: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman gives remarks during the SAFE Boat handover ceremony at the RBDF’s Harbour Patrol Unit.
Photo 2: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman, Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage, Minister of State for National Security, Sen. Keith Bell, Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Roderick Bowe and other senior U.S. and Bahamian government officials participate in a handover ceremony of maritime equipment at the RBDF’s Harbour Patrol Unit.
Photo 3: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman and Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage view some of the spare parts that will be supplied to the RBDF over a two-year period that total more than $58,000 USD.
Photo 4: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman and Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage with members of the RBDF Rangers organization on hand for the ceremony.