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Global Fleet Station Completes Training in Belize

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070905-15
Release Date: 9/5/2007 4:12:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Cynthia Clark, Task Group 40.9 Public Affairs

BELIZE CITY, Belize (NNS) -- The pilot Global Fleet Station (GFS) completed their second visit to Belize, Aug. 31, aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift.

The training in Belize introduced the Patrol Craft Operations Course, designed to teach protection of high value assets, such as ships, piers and harbors. The training included tactics and procedures for maneuvering small patrol boats in the defense of these assets.

“The students really enjoyed the training,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class (EXW/SW) Tony Jones, Patrol Craft Operations Course instructor. “Their Coast Guard is so new, they’re very eager to learn. They said the skills they learned will greatly help them in their job and if they ever have to put it into practice they’ll know what to do. Especially when we were out on the water doing the high speed maneuvers, they had a blast.”

During the week GFS spent in Belize City, more than 140 Belizean service members shared knowledge in topics such as combat lifesaver medical training, U.S. Marine Corps small unit training, patrol craft operations and outboard motor maintenance.

The training was provided by U.S. service members from Navy Expeditionary Training Command in Little Creek, Va., the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms, Calif., Marine Corps Training Command Quantico, Va., and U.S. Coast Guard International Training Division, in Yorktown, Va.

The U.S. Marine Corps training team had its largest class size since they started their training in the pilot GFS. During the week, GFS Marines trained 40 Belize Defense Force (BDF) troops and 66 recruits who were in their 8th week of their 17-week training program. Additionally, three BDF augment martial arts instructors, who received training by U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program Instructors during a previous Marine Corps exercise with the United States, assisted the U.S. Marines with the martial arts instruction.

In the closing participation ceremonies of the Marine training on shore, Brig. Gen. Lloyd Gillette, commander, BDFs stressed the importance of GFS and the value the combined GFS training provided to his forces. Meanwhile, back on Swift, the Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard, Brig. Gen. Cedric Borland thanked Task Group 40.9 for the training they provided to aid in their fight against narco-terrorism.

Task Group 40.9 is deployed as part of the pilot GFS, under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, to the Caribbean basin in Central America. Task Group 40.9 is scheduled to bring their teams to Belize, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.



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