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Belize Defence Force
Brig. Gen. Lloyd Gillett, commander of the Belize Defense Force, addresses Belize soldiers and recruits during a ceremony marking the completion of small unit training with a U.S. Marine Corps mobile
Founded January 1978
Service branches Air Wing, Ground Forces
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General of Belize Colville Young
Minister of National Security the Hon. John Saldivar
Commander of the BDF Brigadier General David Jones
Manpower
Conscription No
Active personnel Approx 1050 (2012)[1]
Reserve personnel 700 (2012)[1]
Expenditures
Budget $US 32 million (2012)[1]

The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is the military of Belize, and is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF, National Coast Guard, and the Immigration Department are under the Minister of Defence and Immigration, which is headed by the Hon. John Saldivar; the BDF itself is commanded by Brigadier General David Jonesdisambiguation needed. In 2005, the Belizean government spent $1.2 million on the military, constituting 1.87% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).[2]

History

The military of Belize dates back to 1817, when the Prince Regent Royal Honduras Militia, a volunteer organization, was founded; this militia became the Belize Volunteer Guard of the British Territorial Army. The BDF was founded in 1978 following the disbanding of the Belize Volunteer Guard and the Police Special Force the year before.[3]

After Belize achieved independence in 1981 the United Kingdom maintained a deterrent force (British Forces Belize) in the country to protect it from invasion by Guatemala (see Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory). During the 1980s this included a battalion and No. 1417 Flight RAF of Harriers. The main British force left in 1994, three years after Guatemala recognised Belizean independence, but the United Kingdom maintained a training presence via the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) and 25 Flight Army Air Corps until 2011 when the last British Forces left Ladyville Barracks, with the exception of seconded advisers.[3] The BDF Maritime Wing became part of the Belizean Coastguard in November 2005.[4]

Organization

The BDF consists of:

  • Three infantry battalions, each comprising three companies[1]
  • Three reserve companies[1]
  • One support group[1]
  • Air Wing[1]

The Belize Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff (2008).[5] The Belize Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.

As of 2012, there are also 40 British Army personnel stationed in Belize.[1]

Equipment

Crew-served weapons

Arms list and details
 Make/Model   Type   Origin   Quantity 
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle Multi-role (anti-armor, anti-fortification, anti-personnel, illumination) Recoilless rifle  Sweden 6[1]
L16 81mm Mortar Mortar (weapon)  United Kingdom 6[1]

Aircraft

Aircraft list and details
 Make/Model   Type   Origin   Quantity   Notes 
Britten-Norman Defender Transport  United Kingdom 2[1] One BN-2A Defender and 1 BN-2B Defender as at 2012[1]
Cessna 182J Transport United States 1[1] BDF-03
Slingsby T67M-260 basic training aircraft  United Kingdom 1[1]

Gallery

Facilities

  • Mountain Pine Ridge Training Area - south of Belmopan used for jungle warfare by Belize, US and British forces
  • Price Barracks - Ladyville - Air Wing HQ and former British helicopter base; it is named for the country's first Prime Minister George Cadle Price
  • Fairweather Camp - Punta Gorda Town - HQ for 2nd Bat and former British military base
  • Orange Walk Airport (Army) - Orange Walk District
  • Belizario Camp - San Ignacio - border area base
  • Corozal Training Centre - Corozal Town
  • Dangriga Training Centre - Dangriga
  • Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport - main airbase
  • Hector Silva Airstrip - small base located south of the airstrip; this is a secondary airstrip and was used by the British Army
  • Punta Gorda Airport is a secondary airstrip
  • St Georges Caye Island (Army)
  • Holdfast Camp (Army)
  • Baldy Beacons (Army)
  • Rideau Camp (Army)
  • Salamanca Camp (Army)

References

Notes
Works cited
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. 

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
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