The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is to receive advanced stealth communications equipment and a language laboratory from the British Government.
British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Howard Drake, will make the presentation to National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting and Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, at a handing over ceremony on November 27, at the British High Commission, on Trafalgar Road in Kingston, commencing at 10:00 a.m.
The equipment will consist of Personal Role Radios (PRR), which are expected to significantly enhance combat effectiveness of the JDF by providing effective and clear communication to soldiers doing front line duties.
According to Captain Basil Jarrett, Civil/Military Co-operation Officer at the JDF, the donation will improve the JDF’s capability to communicate.
“What it will do is improve the communications capability in the field for the infantryman. It will not just replace the traditional methods of communicating, but it will improve how we’ve done things in the past. Operations will be much slicker, they’ll be more effectively applied, it will be better to co-ordinate troop movements and to promote safety as well,” he told JIS News.
Captain Jarrett said that the language lab will improve skills in French and Spanish in the JDF, which will enhance their ability to engage and operate in the Caribbean area. Some two years ago the JDF soldiers were first responders on the ground in neighbouring Haiti, following a massive earthquake that devastated that country. When they arrived, they found that language was a major hurdle in executing their duties smoothly.
“People forget just how difficult a situation we faced in Haiti. One of the things that Haiti highlighted to us was the need for soldiers to be able to function in an environment like that, by simply being able to communicate with the people on the ground and with the other coalition troops. So, the language lab will improve our inter-operability with other forces in the Caribbean and extra-regionally,” he explained.