Barbados   Royal Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Air Wing

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The Barbados Defence Force History

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established 15 August 1979, and has responsibility for the territorial defence and internal security of the island. The headquarters for the Barbados Defence Force is located at St. Ann's Fort, The Garrison, Saint Michael. The Barbados Defence Act (1979) created a body of Her Majesty’s forces to be known as the Barbados Defence Force consisting of a regular Force; a reserve Force to be known as the Barbados Defence Force Reserve; and a Cadet Force.

The Force is structured as follows:

Headquarters Barbados Defence Force
The Barbados Regiment, the land forces element of the Force made up of regular and reserve subunits
The Barbados Coast Guard, the maritime element of the Force made up of regular and reserve subunits.
The Youth Development Wing, which comprises the Barbados Cadet Corps and the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme

The Barbados Defence Force is responsible for the defence of Barbados and such other duties as the Defence Board determines. The Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force is, subject to the directions of the Governor-General, responsible for the operational use of the Force, but the Prime Minister may, where no directions have been given by the Governor-General, give to the Chief of Staff directions with respect to the operational use of the Barbados Defence Force in Barbados for the purposes of maintaining and securing public order and public safety, as the Prime Minister thinks fit; and the Chief of Staff shall comply with those directions.

The BDF is totally committed to assisting with national development, particularly through the training of the nation’s youth. To this end, the command and training of the units of the Barbados Cadet Corps are the responsibility of the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Barbados Defence Force who are posted or attached therefor to the Cadet Corps.

Although there is a large degree of specialisation within the Force, all ranks are trained in a common set of core disciplines which enables them to function in the many roles assigned to the Force.

The BDF is frequently engaged in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in addition to providing assistance to the Civil Power and Civil Ministries, along with performing its ceremonial duties. As a member of the Regional Security System (RSS), the BDF has rendered assistance during the  Grenada intervention in 1983, in response to the Jama’at al-Muslimeen coup in Trinidad in 1990 and between 1994 and 1996 in Haiti. The Force also assisted Jamaica in 1988, Montserrat 1989 and Grenada in 2004 during the aftermath of hurricanes Gilbert, Hugo and Ivan respectively. More recently the Force conducted disaster relief operations to Dominica in 2015 and 2017 in the aftermath of the passage of Tropical Storm Erica and Hurricane Maria respectively.

There are three main components of the BDF:

The Barbados Regiment – This branch is commanded by the Commanding Officer of the Barbados Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Lovell and is based at St Anns Fort and Paragon Base. This is the main land force component, and encompasses both regular and reserve units.

Barbados Coast Guard – This branch is commanded by the Commanding Officer of the Barbados Coast Guard Commander Mark Peterson and is based at HMBS Pelican. This is the maritime element, with responsibility for patrolling Barbados' territorial waters as well as drug interdiction and humanitarian and life-saving exercises. It too encompasses both regular and reserve units.

Barbados Air Wing –
This branch was formed in 1971, it operated 1 Beech Queen Air. In 1981 A Cessna 402C was acquired. Since 1985 all aircraft have been retired and the air wing ceased to exist but the BDF is looking to re-establish an air wing.

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -

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