The Barbados Coast Guard is the maritime division of the Barbados Defence Force. Its responsibilities are patrolling Barbados' territorial waters as well as drug interdiction and humanitarian and life-saving exercises. The Barbados Coast Guard currently is based at its new home at HMBS Pelican in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. It consists of a small fleet, including its flagship HMBS Trident.
The usual styling for the Barbados Coast Guard is HMBS which stands for His/Her Majesty's Barbadian Ship.
The Marine division of the Royal Barbados Police Force is co-located with the Barbados Coast Guard. Additionally, the Coast Guard base is home of the Barbados Cadet Corps Sea Cadets (the marine unit of the Barbados Cadet Corps).
HMBS Pelican can be seen while travelling along the Spring Garden Highway in Barbados. This new base was commissioned in September 2007 and is an ultra modern complex which caters to the maritime operational and training needs of the Barbados Defence Force and the other forces of the Regional Security System.
The Barbados Coast Guard is currently under the command of Lt. Cdr. N. O. Springer.
Named after the Barbados Defence Force's (BDF) first chief-of-staff Colonel Leonard Banfield, the vessel docked at the HMBS Pelican, the Coast Guard's new headquarters on Spring Garden, St Michael, around 8 a.m. The Dutch vessel, built by Damen Group, now takes the Coast Guard's fleet to 11, including the 26-year-old flagship HMBS Trident. "This vessel is a significant addition to the Coast Guard's flotilla and it is expected that it will significantly assist in the safety and security of the waters around Barbados," said Commander Ricky Shurland.
Both the Leonard C. Banfield and the new headquarters were commissioned in a ceremony on September 14, 2007. The new vessel is reported to cost about US$6 million (BDS$12 million).
Military sources said the delivery was the first in a US$37 million package that would include two other vessels of similar class, three 40-foot fast patrol boats, two 30-footers and three 21-foot in-shore patrol craft. In terms of manpower, the Coast Guard, which now numbers 127 full-time personnel, would be increased at a rate of about 30 per year over the period 2007 to 2011.
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