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Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to get help from Canadian Forces

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2011 | 12:00 AM

MINISTER OF National Security, Senator Dwight Nelson last week announced that the Canadian Government, through its Ministry of National Defence, is deploying three CH-146 Griffon tactical helicopters and 65 Canadian Forces personnel to support the Jamaica Defence Force during the 2011 hurricane season.

The deployment follows a request from the Jamaican Government.

Minister Nelson said he was most appreciative of the Canadian initiative, noting that the three helicopters will shore up the JDF's capabilities.

In welcoming the deployment, Nelson added that JDF personnel will also benefit from training with the Canadian Forces.

Minister Nelson pointed to the extremely successful long-standing alliance between the Canadian Forces and the Jamaica Defence Force.

Canada's Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay said his Government is committed to ensuring that Canadian forces are ready to assist their allies on the world stage if and when the call comes.

"The request from Jamaica addresses a specific capability gap in the Jamaica Defence Force, which currently does not have helicopters suitable for tasks such as search and rescue and medical evacuation flights," said MacKay.

Commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard said this deployment, which is the first under a Canadian Forces initiative dubbed Operation JAGUAR, will once again demonstrate that the men and women of the Canadian Forces have world-class military skills and discipline, and a global reputation that is second to none.