Today, the U.S. Embassy provided vital maritime and tactical equipment to the Belize Coast Guard. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Keith Gilges handed over six outboard engines, along with navigational equipment, maintenance tools, and fifteen sets of night vision goggles to Minister of National Defence and Border Security, Hon. Florencio Marin Jr., Minister of State for the Ministry of National Defence and Border Security, Hon. Oscar Mira, and Belize Coast Guard Acting Commandant, Commander Gregory Soberanis. This equipment will assist in the expansion of the Coast Guard Fleet and will improve nighttime operational capabilities. The equipment is valued $400,000 USD and was provided by the Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funding.
Honorable Florencio Marin Jr. in his speech stated, “This donation today of engines and equipment will significantly increase Coast Guard’s ability and capacity to function at sea and execute its mandate of maritime safety and security. This equipment will enable the Coast Guard to expand its vessel fleet and maneuver with added confidence while conducting night operations.”
Chargé Gilges highlighted, “This successful maritime program is an excellent example of how well our two governments can work together to focus on improving strategic communications, increase operational efficacy, and work across agencies to tackle big challenges – like combatting narco-trafficking. This project will directly increase the Government of Belize’s ability to combat, deter, and disrupt narcotics trafficking and other illegal activities in Belizean waters.”
Since 2008, the United States has contributed over $43.7 million USD to advance citizen security, economic prosperity, and good governance in Belize through our Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) programs.