RBDF Maritime Surveillance System handover Ceremony

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General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the United States North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Northern Command (NORTHCOM), officially cutting the ribbon during the commissioning ceremony for the Defence Force’s new Maritime Surveillance System, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at HMBS Coral Harbour. Also shown are Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Honourable Philip Davis QC, the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Wayne Munroe QC, Charge d’Affaires for the US Embassy in the Bahamas, Ms. Usha Pitts, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond E. King. (RBDF Photo by Able Seaman Fredrick Russell)

An increase in operational efficiency against illegal activity has already been acknowledged, thanks to the use of the Defence Force’s new Maritime Surveillance System, which was commissioned during an official ceremony, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s Coral Harbour Base.

The objective of the Maritime Surveillance System is to increase Maritime Domain Awareness in adequately covering the Bahamas. This recent achievement was hosted by the Defence Force and attended by senior government officials from both The Bahamas and the United States. Officials from The Bahamas who offered remarks included the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Honourable Philip Davis QC, and the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Wayne Munroe QC.

Also offering remarks were officials from the US who included the Charge d’Affaires for the US Embassy in the Bahamas, Ms. Usha Pitts, and General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the United States North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Permanent Secretary (Acting) for the Ministry of National Security, Mrs. Cheryl Darville, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond E. King, and his Executive Team were also in attendance. In his remarks, Prime Minister Davis thanked the US government on behalf of the Bahamian people for their continued partnership and assistance with regional security, expressing how invaluable the use of the new system would be in our constant fight against illegal activity. The establishment of this new Maritime Surveillance System is aimed at enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness, maximizing the Defence Force’s capabilities to detect, deter, and detain or defend against transnational criminal organizations and was the result of a strong working relationship which exists between both nations and continues to be fruitful in its efforts to provide more effective maritime security.

This radar complements the existing equipment, commissioned during 2019 in Inagua. Its coverage and the support from the USCG Aerial reconnaissance, combined with RBDF maritime patrols, ensure that illicit perpetrators have a lower chance of achieving their malicious
objectives.

Other approved satellites will be received over the next couple of years in locations throughout the Bahamas including Ragged Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, and Andros. This development aligns with the Commander Defence Force’s strategic objective to build on and
decentralize the Force’s operations. The Force remains committed to Guarding Our Heritage.

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