|Belize Defence Force|
|Service branches||Air Wing, Ground Forces|
|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|
|Active personnel||Approx 1050 (2012)|
|Reserve personnel||700 (2012)|
|Budget||$US 32 million (2012)|
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).
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.
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. The BDF Maritime Wing became part of the Belizean Coastguard in November 2005.
The BDF consists of:
- Three infantry battalions, each comprising three companies
- Three reserve companies
- One support group
- Air Wing
The Belize Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff (2008). The Belize Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.
|Carl Gustav recoilless rifle||Multi-role (anti-armor, anti-fortification, anti-personnel, illumination) Recoilless rifle||Sweden||6|
|L16 81mm Mortar||Mortar (weapon)||United Kingdom||6|
|Britten-Norman Defender||Transport||United Kingdom||2||One BN-2A Defender and 1 BN-2B Defender as at 2012|
|Cessna 182J||Transport||United States||1||BDF-03|
|Slingsby T67M-260||basic training aircraft||United Kingdom||1|
- 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)
- IISS (2012), p. 374
- "Belize", CIA World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bh.html
- Dion E. Phillips, "The Military of Belize" http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/bnccde/belize/conference/papers/phillips.html, 2002
- "Channel 5 Belize", http://www.channel5belize.com/archive_detail_story.php?story_id=15230 December 13, 2007.
- "Belize Police Department - About the Department". Police.gov.bz. http://www.police.gov.bz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=155&Itemid=147. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- Works cited
- International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
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