Tue | Feb 18, 2020

Military surveillance capabilities receiving important boost

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Colonel Radgh Mason of the Jamaica Defence Force makes an address at the Lions Club of Kingston’s monthly luncheon, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on September 5.
Colonel Radgh Mason (right) of the Jamaica Defence Force accepts a certificate of recognition from Lions Club of Kingston’s president, Julette Parkes-Livermore, for being the guest speaker at the club’s monthly luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on September 5.

Jamaica's military surveillance capabilities have been receiving vast upgrade, according to Colonel Radgh Mason of the Jamaica Defence Force, who has said the island is getting better at collaborating with other nations to stem transnational crime.

As brigade commander responsible for coordinating land operations, Mason was addressing a Lions Club of Kingston monthly luncheon meeting last Wednesday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew.

"Surveillance is multifaceted. The Government rolled out JamaicaEye, which is a single component of being able to have eyes in our public spaces. We (in the JDF) have to cover the entire territorial space. There are radars which can detect vessels in our waters. We are investing in maritime patrol aircraft which will enable us to target vessels in a better way. We have already purchased our UAS capabilities to be able to fly longer distances to see what is out there.




"The military is not managing JamaicaEye, but we do have some leverage on aspects of it. We provide expertise to assist the Government with rolling out the capabilities. We have technical advisers who work alongside the contractors and other persons involved in the roll out. The cybercrime capability is something that we are building up. Much of the developed world now is suffering from greater incidents of cyberthreats against networks. Jamaica has had a few attacks which were focused on government networks. We have got technology that will allow us to counter that threat."

Mason took time to address the economic crisis in Venezuela and the possible implications that migration from that country could have on Jamaica.

"Any country that has vulnerability in terms of being able to secure its territorial space means vulnerability for every other country around it. We have to be mindful of what happens in other countries. We (still) have the drugs-for-guns trade which leads to murders and disruptions in our economy. It emphasises the necessity for us to be talking with and sharing with our neighbours in the region to tackle the problem."