The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard's operational capability has been further strengthened with the acquisition of four boats and supporting maintenance equipment from the United States Government, valued at more than $500 million.
The two 38-foot SAFE boats and two 37-foot Boston Whaler vessels have been donated under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).
This is expected to significantly enhance the Coast Guard's maritime interdiction efforts and facilitate greater coordination with their US counterparts in curtailing transnational crimes, such as illicit drugs, gun and human trafficking.
With these additions, Jamaica now has the largest maritime presence in the Caribbean.
The vessels and equipment were formally presented to National Security State Minister Senator Pearnel Charles Jr., during a handover ceremony at the JDF Coast Guard headquarters in Port Royal on Wednesday.