ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Brazilian military will assist in the establishment of a Maritime School of Excellence in Antigua, along with making several other contributions to Antigua & Barbuda’s military.
This was announced after a Brazilian Military delegation visited the country from July 20-25, as part of a cooperation agreement signed by both parties.
The Antigua & Barbuda Defense Force (ABDF) has declared that it expects to benefit from the agreement, particularly in the area of capacity building.
Areas of focus during the visit included not only assistance with the establishment of a Maritime School of Excellence at Camp Blizzard, but also access to technical and academic learning institutions, the development of specialized units within the ABDF, and the possibility of establishing an air capability for the ABDF in assisting with maritime search and rescue.
Also part of the discussions was assistance with a strategic review of the ABDF, and the acquisition of an offshore patrol vessel to aid in long range sustained patrols by the Coast Guard.
Other government agencies the ABDF is in cooperation with for defense, security and disaster related matters were also invited to the discussions.
These organizations included the Antigua Department of Maritime Services and Merchant Shipping, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Office of Disaster Services.
Matters concerning hydrography, Antigua and Barbuda’s disaster response mechanism, and the issues of drug and money laundering offences committed with the use of marine vessels were discussed.
Chief of Defense Staff Colonel Sir Trevor Thomas said the Brazilian military delegation’s week-long visit to Antigua and Barbuda was a success.
The Brazilian delegation reportedly expressed satisfaction that the ABDF’s efficiency as a professional military Force.
A military delegation from the ABDF has also been invited to visit Brazil as a part of the cooperation agreement.