Coping with recession
BDF feels the pinch of the economic downturn
Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Colonel Alvin Quintyne says the last four years for the military institution have been some of the most difficult, with financial challenges causing cuts and changes.
The institution’s annual anniversary parade was among the casualties.
However, Quintyne said, the BDF would remain undaunted.
“It is unfortunate that we could not execute the parade as in the past due to the financial challenges that have forced us to reprioritise the allocations and applications of the reduced budget for this financial year. Although the celebrations of our anniversary is most relevant and important, the expenditure relative to the staging of the traditional anniversary parade and post-parade entertainment simply cannot be afforded this year,” he said during the scaled down 35th annual anniversary parade at the BDF’s St Ann’s Fort Headquarters.
“Notwithstanding the financial challenge, I maintained that it was necessary for us to assemble, even on a significantly reduced scale, not only to recognise yet another milestone along the journey of our Force, but more importantly to give recognition to personnel for their efforts. It is also an opportunity to give thanks for the past achievements and recommit ourselves to the future development of the force.”
He said that through the collective efforts of its enlisted men, women, officers and civilian employees, the BDF has been able to refocus and reorient itself to address the various budgetary challenges.
Among the various initiatives implemented as a means of raising significant success has been the Force’s facilities rental programme.
“The funds to cover the annual operating costs and preventative maintenance costs in respect of The Main Guard [The Clock Tower] have been provided for from the proceeds generated through the rental of the facility. This revenue-generating model has been replicated at St Ann’s Fort to great effect. Our farming initiatives have also reaped some benefits,” Quintyne disclosed.
“These initiatives and the benefits derived there from should serve as a reminder to us that in the face of adversity and challenge, we must not throw our hands in the air and quit. We must both individually and collectively, find solutions that are within our grasp. They may not be perfect remedies to address the issues and challenge at hand, but let us not ever be accused of sitting back and doing nothing.”
During the parade, 57 military officers and two civilians were awarded for over 30 years of service to the BDF.
Additionally, there were eight positions confirmed and 44 promotions to various ranks within the BDF and the Barbados Coast Guard.
The Chief of Staff, in making the commendations, urged the officers and enlisted ranks to recommit themselves to being the best that they can be “in all that we undertake for the good of our Force and Barbados”.