JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has restated the government’s support for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). She said the maintenance of a military force was a necessary insurance against threats to the country’s sovereignty and viability.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking on Friday (May 26) at the annual Victoria Cross Dinner hosted by the Jamaica Defence Force at Up Park camp.
She said the recent Strategic Defence Review of the JDF sought to address a number of issues including how its mission, tasks, capabilities and structure could be adjusted to meet new security realities. She said the streamlining of the JDF would allow it to respond to a range of situations including internal security, disaster relief and peace enforcement among other activities.
“Whether it is search and rescue, maritime surveillance, internal security, counter-narcotics or counter terrorism operations, our JDF personnel must continue to carry out their duties and do so more efficiently,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller said the review of the JDF had been dovetailed with the National Security Strategy to ensure that its operations are relevant to the goals and requirements of the overall security strategy. She said fiscal constraints dictate that the country’s national security resources must be optimized, and that this would have to include a wide range of non-traditional duties and a more efficient and flexible force.
She said the foremost responsibility of the government was to ensure a safe and secure environment that was conducive to the well-being of citizens and the growth and development of the nation. She said the government was committed to providing the necessary resources and the requisite policy and legislative framework to support the national security issues of the country.
The Prime Minister said that while the police and military are traditionally regarded as the agencies responsible for national security, other agencies including Customs and Immigration were also essential components of the national security apparatus.
“In addition to those organizations charged with national security, every citizen is a stakeholder in the security of our nation. To this extent, I call upon every citizen to do whatever they can to contribute to the security of Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said.
Victoria Cross Day is celebrated annually by the Jamaica Regiment to commemorate the bravery of two West Indian servicemen, Sergeant William Gordon of Jamaica and Lance Corporal Samuel Hodge of the Virgin Islands. Both men exhibited braver on the battlefield while serving as members of the West India Regiment and were awarded the Victoria Cross.