PM eyes expanded role for the army
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government will be using the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to help in tackling many of Jamaica's socio-economic challenges.
According to Holness, it is important that the role of the army extend beyond security to offer training in a range of fields locally and regionally.
Holness was speaking with JIS News during a tour of the JDF’s Technical Training Institute at Up Park Camp following private meetings with the high-level army staff.
Already, the JDF's First Engineer Regiment is partnering with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme on an apprenticeship initiative.
So far, hundreds of youths from inner city communities have benefiting from skills training in auto mechanics, furniture making, air condition and refrigeration repairs, carpentry, plumbing, electrical installation and masonry.
Holness said the military also has an "incredible capacity for earning" and is suitably positioned to play an ambassadorial role for Jamaica.
Among the responsibilities of the JDF's First Engineer Regiment are: the provision of emergency engineering assistance during natural disasters; maintenance of technical essential services nationally; planning; construction and maintenance of JDF projects and installations; and serving as combat engineering support to JDF units.
It also provides engineering assistance and guidance to Government and civil agencies.