Closing Ceremony for Annhual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013 Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00

March passClosing Ceremonies were held Monday, July 22 for the Annual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013.

The event started with a drill competition, followed by a Church Service led by Force Chaplin, Cannon Jeris Valentine. Delivering the main address and presenting awards and promotions was BDF Commander Brigadier General David Jones.

Receiving the award on behalf of the best performing company in both Drill and Sport Competition, Delta Company (from Stann Creek and Toledo), was its Acting Commander, Lt. Sahra Arzu, who currently heads a platoon. The award for Soldier of the Year was taken by Lance Corporal Kristy Tillett of Bravo Company, Belize District. Best performance in the Section Commander Course went to newly promoted Corporal Robert Jones of Bravo Company, Belize District; and Top Student in the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers’ Course was newly promoted Lance Corporal Melissa Garbutt of Support Company, Belmopan.

An award was also presented to Lt. Colonel James Requena, Commander of the First Infantry Battalion, headquartered at Camp Belizario, Cayo District; and a certificate of appreciation was presented to Vice Chairlady of Esperanza Village, Shern Robateau. The Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza was the venue for the Sports Competition held over the weekend, as well as the Drill Competition, Church Service and Closing Ceremony conducted on Monday. Assisting the BDF Commander in presentation of the awards and promotions were Captain Clifton Williams and Lt. Sarita Westby who was joined at the event by her husband, Deputy Mayor of Belmopan,  Lt. (Ret.) Joel Westby. Also speaking at the ceremony was Officer Commanding the Volunteer Battalion Lt. Colonel Felix Enriquez, as well as Operations Officer Major Edison Ogaldez, who also heads the Delta Company.

In his address at the Closing Ceremony Commander Jones said he was pleased with the performance of the BDF Volunteer Battalion which he says is a reserve element that must operate at the same level of fitness and military proficiency as the Regular Force. For his part, Officer Commanding the Volunteer Battalion Lt. Colonel Felix Enriquez said this year’s Battle Camp was a major success and he expressed thanks to all employers countrywide (including the Government of Belize) who gave paid time-off to the volunteers to attend the Battle Camp.

At this year’s Battle Camp, 33 new recruits joined the ranks of the Volunteer Battalion, having been on training since November of last Year, 2012. A total of 316 Volunteers attended this year’s Battle Camp which was held at Camp Belizario in Central Farm from July 12 to 23, 2013 and focused mainly on operations conducted in what the BDF calls the Western Tactical Area of Responsibility. The final day, today, is utilized by all companies to ensure that volunteers and their company’s resources are returned safely to their various stations and properly accounted for. Next year’s Volunteer Battle Camp will focus on safety and effectiveness in Jungle Warfare.

Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, who visited and addressed the volunteers last Friday, July 19, extends congratulations to them and all the commanders and organizers of the event, and thanks the men and women of the Belize Defense Force in general for their continued selfless service to their Nation and its people.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 16:03