Royal Bahamas Defence Force
The Free National Movement recognises that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force plays a critical role in the protection of the territorial integrity of The Bahamas, an archipelagic nation of some 700 islands and cays spread over 80,000 square miles of ocean. The Defence Force also holds a primary position in the enforcement of the Immigration and Fisheries laws of The Bahamas.
Together, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Defence Force form the country’s first line of defence against illegal smugglers of illicit narcotic drugs and against the illegal transport of undocumented aliens and illegal immigrants. The Free National Movement further recognises the growing critical importance of the Defence Force in the area of search and rescue and in disaster preparedness and emergency response.
The Free National Movement is committed to never again having this important branch of the uniformed services reduced to its status prior to 1992 when shortages in fuel and spare parts kept vessels in port and prevented the Force from properly and competently carrying out its responsibilities.
Having substantially improved the condition and maintenance of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force fleet; having instituted a properly manned and equipped search and rescue unit; having acquired vessels to permit the introduction of continuous harbour patrol in New Providence; and having under review salary scales of serving officers and having improved the conditions of service and salaries for all enlisted men, the Free National Movement Government in its second term will:
Complete the salary scales review of the Defence Force with a view to the upgrade of scales and the increase in salaries for Defence Force Officers. Complete the acquisition of large and medium craft to enhance the patrol capacity of the Force. Acquire two fixed wing aircraft to enhance operational capabilities of the Defence Force. Continue the infrastructural development of the Defence Force Base at Matthew Town, Inagua. Establish a satellite base in the northern Bahamas to enhance surveillance and to provide search and rescue support. Provide accommodations for Royal Bahamas Defence Force personnel at the Coral Harbour Base. Cause the dredging of the harbour, the construction of new sea walls and the installation of a fuel farm at the Coral Harbour Base.
Provide for the establishment of a faculty of law at the College of The Bahamas as an extension of the programme provided by the University of the West Indies. Establish, under the Council of Legal Education, the third law school approved for the region.
Improve equipment and support to enhance the disaster preparedness and response capabilities of the Defence Force. Improve the radio communication system of the Defence Force. Continue to upgrade the computerisation of the Defence Force Administration. Continue the review of the conditions of service in the Defence Force. Accelerate and intensify training locally and overseas for members of the Defence Force. Complete the Training Centre and develop it into a first class maritime training facility. Provide for the appointment of the Defence Force Commander for a fixed five year period with a maximum tenure limited to 10 years. Establish an Independent Commission to assume responsibility for the appointment, promotion and discipline of Defence Force Officers and enlisted men, with required prior consultation with the Minister on appointments of Senior Officers.
| CONTENTS | NEXT |