JIS News

Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has said that the acquisition of the final of three patrol vessels by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard will enhance the JDF’s ability to effectively monitor the island’s territorial waters and reduce the international trade in illegal drugs and ammunition.
“International criminal organisations pose a threat to the country’s security.(they have) recruited our sons and daughters of every social class as couriers for drugs, money and other contraband, and are directly responsible for those who are today languishing in the prisons of North America and Europe,” he said.
Dr. Phillips, who was speaking yesterday (June 26) at the naming and commissioning of the HMJS Surrey at the JDF’s Coast Guard base in Port Royal, noted further that the new vessel will also help the JDF to more effectively execute complex search and rescue cases, which often last several days.
The HMJS Surrey completes the delivery of three maritime vessels named after the counties of Jamaica – HMJS Cornwall, HMJS Middlesex and HMJS Surrey. The vessel will be captained for the first time in the region’s history by a female officer, Lieutenant Commander Antonette Wemyss-Gorman.
According to the Security Minister, the vessel will also assist the JDF Coast Guard to more effectively monitor the country’s maritime environment to ensure pollution control and provide a suitable platform for evacuation and relief in the event of natural disasters.
The HMJS Surrey will also be used to carry out fisheries protection, maritime law enforcement, coastal surveillance, provide aid to government agencies, and will be used in ceremonial duties.
In the meantime, Dr. Phillips said that the government is also reinforcing the capabilities of the marine police, which will work closely with the JDF.
“At a cost of some $340 million, some 27 new vessels have been acquired for the marine police. We are also equipping the new aviation training school so that we can provide training for our aviators from within the resources of the JDF,” he informed.

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