A cohort of 20 participants from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) graduated from a maritime training interdiction course on Friday (February 12).
The course is aimed at improving the island’s capacity to deal with transnational organised crimes, which threaten maritime space.
It lasted for three weeks, was designed for junior officers, enlisted maritime boarding officers and small boat coxswains assigned to maritime law enforcement missions. Participants were instructed in basic principles of protecting high-value assets (vessel or land facilities) from waterborne threats.
Speaking at the closing ceremony at the JCF staff college, Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, Acting Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, said the course was timely and of significant importance to national survival, due to the ever present threat of transnational organised crime.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington (right), gives some encouragement to graduates of the Maritime Training Interdiction course, Howard Clarke (left), Robert Hanson (second left) and Melecia Morrison (second right), at the closing ceremony at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) staff college, Twickenham Park, St. Catherine on Friday (February 12.
“These kinds of developments are serious challenges for small states. In fact, in many instances they pose a credible threat to national security and that is why we have the kind of collaboration that we share with the U.S. (United States) in delivering training and support,” he said.
He noted that both small and larger countries face similar threats and, as such, collaborations are critical.
“Pursuing national security objectives cannot be done with a narrow focus on what one country can do on its own soil, or within its maritime space. That, perhaps, explains the importance and the relevance of this kind of collaboration,” the Acting Commissioner said.
Mr. Ellington noted that national security was about maritime security, in light of the fact that traffickers who traffic guns and drugs, or who move aliens, take advantage of the inadequacies of the control of maritime space.
He urged the participants in the course to take the training seriously, and implored them to apply these skills when needed.
“When you go back to your respective formations understand that we expect value to be produced from what you learnt here,” he said.
Special Constable Dwayne Goodhall, a participant, noted that the course was of significant importance and would better equip him and his colleagues.
The course was organised by the Government of Jamaica, in collaboration with its United States counterparts, through the U. S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance Office.