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November 30, 2012
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Operational capabilities of JDF boosted
The operational capabilities of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have been enhanced with the employment of advanced stealth communications equipment and the establishment of a language training centre, courtesy of the British Government.

Consisting of over 100 Personal Role Radio (PRR) sets, with spares, and a Fixed Base Force Protection System (mobile rebroadcast equipment), the communications equipment is expected to significantly improve combat effectiveness of the JDF by providing effective and clear communication to soldiers doing front-line duties.

The language centre, which has been set up at the JDF's headquarters at Up Park Camp in Kingston, will serve to improve the military's skills in French and Spanish in the JDF, which will improve their ability to engage and operate in the Caribbean region, particularly in terms of counter-narcotic and counter-illicit traffic operations.

The donations were presented to the Minister of National Security Peter Bunting during a ceremony at the British High Commission in Kingston on Tuesday.

Minister Bunting thanked the British government for the PRRs, which he said will not only improve the effectiveness of the JDF's communication, but further enhance its support to the police force.

improving soldier safety

"It also brings home to me the value this will have in not just improving soldier safety, but also improving the safety of the communities that they are operating in, and avoiding or reducing the risk of miscommunication, particularly within a built-up urban environment," he said.

In terms of the language centre, Minister Bunting said this would be very useful in terms of cooperation in our maritime domain, particularly in the counter-narcotics effort, in terms of increasing our effectiveness in tackling the guns-for-drugs trade, particularly (in) Haiti, where we want to increase our capacity for cooperation with the Haitian police."

British High Commissioner Howard Drake said the gift was "yet another indication of a close and enduring relationship between the UK and Jamaica in the defence field, not just law enforcement (but) national security issues (in) general."

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