Monday 23 September, 2019

JDF soldiers deployed to Bahamas to assist in recovery efforts

Jamaica Defence Force soldiers monitor activities in Dominica following the passage of the catastrophic Hurricane Maria in that Caribbean island in 2017. (PHOTO: JDF Facebook)

Jamaica Defence Force soldiers monitor activities in Dominica following the passage of the catastrophic Hurricane Maria in that Caribbean island in 2017. (PHOTO: JDF Facebook)

A group of Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers left the island Thursday to assist with recovery efforts in the Bahamas following the passage of Hurricane Dorian in that Caribbean country.

Jamaica is providing support to the Government of the Bahamas by way of the deployment of the JDF soldiers from the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). The group of soldiers that left the island Thursday were the first contingent to be deployed to the hurricane-ravaged country.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Jamaica will receive assistance in transporting the members of DART from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“They will be airlifted for us in partnership with our friends – our Canadian friends, they will be airlifting both men and equipment. So, Jamaica will have a presence in the Bahamas, and we will be at the disposal of the Bahamian Government if they require any further assistance,” stated Holness.

Holness also noted that he has been in direct contact with Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis for updates.

"Just before and during the hurricane, I’ve been in direct contact with Prime Minister Minnis of the Bahamas and he has given me an update on the situation in the islands that have been affected. You would have seen in the media that those islands that are affected, that the devastation is extensive,” said Holness. 

In that regard, Holness noted that Jamaica has been working closely with partner nations on the ground in the Bahamas.

In the meantime, the DART will assist in several key areas which include:

1. The construction of temporary accommodation 

2. The establishment of relief distribution areas.

3. Aid convoy security

4. Clearing of distribution routes

5. Key point protection

6. Security Tasks as requested by the host country

7. The re-establishment of power supply


The DART will be deployed to the Bahamas for an initial period of 30 days. 

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