Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Canada To Set Up Military Base In Jamaica

And so it is in the news, once more. Canada negotiating a deal to establish a forward operating base in Jamaica:

OTTAWA, Canada, CMC – A top Canadian military official says that Ottawa is negotiating an arrangement with Jamaica to allow the Canadian military to stage out of the Caribbean island in the event of trouble or even natural disasters in the region.
Lieutenant General Stuart Beare, who’s in charge of Canada’s overseas military force, said that the two Commonwealth partners have been quietly developing closer ties that recently manifested itself with the deployment of three CH-146 Griffon helicopters to back up the Jamaica Defence Force.  
“We have a great partnership in the region,” he told reporters, adding “geographically, it’s in a perfect spot”. 
Beare said Jamaica’s position puts it at “an interesting crossroads” in the region, which has suffered its share from disasters ranging from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to repeated hurricane devastation. Read more

And the press release goes on and on about historic military ties and Canada providing military aid to Jamaica by training JDF commandos and building the Jamaica Military Aviation School and helping out with search and rescue missions etc.

A radar tracking station (left) and Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano light attack airplanes (right).

Next year, Jamaica celebrates its 50th year as a sovereign nation, and how ironic that the Canadians will be arriving in time for the party, with military boots on the ground and a license to fly in and out of Jamaican airspace, at will. As a part of this deal, will the minister of national security (or the minister of defence) asked the Canadians to first establish a radar trafficking station and an airbase for the JDF Air Wing, along with two Super Tucano light attack aircraft, before they go ahead and set up this (temporary) base? And how long would they need to have this military base in Jamaica? Surely not half as long as the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Right?

The government cannot afford to sell Jamaica short on a deal of this nature. When the Canadians do decide to pack up and leave, Jamaica should have something worthwile to show for agreeing to 'compromise its national sovereignty.' The endgame is that Jamaica should become far better equipped and skilled, in patrolling and defending its own territorial airspace.


  1. You would need at least 6 Tucanos, but I would also look at the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6.

  2. Yes, the Beechcraft AT-6 is also a good pick.

  3. Unfortunately, the USAF rejected the AT-6 for their recent competition to provide aircraft for Afghanistan. The Tucano and Super Tucanos are great aircraft though, and they're used by the RAF, who has the best history of high-performance small aircraft (Spitfire), so I'd still be very confident with these excellent Brazilian aircraft.

    Can we maybe line up for 2 or 3 CN-295 transports? They'd be helpful to transport the JDF for international training, as well as for humanitarian missions, disaster relief, paratroop drops, etc.

    And maybe 2 Beech KingAirs in a Maritime Patrol configuration?

    I know, I'm getting greedy, but one must have a long-term plan.

  4. Yes, we must think long-term, and as part of that long-term planning, I would like to see the army leading the way in BORDER SECURITY missions. There needs to be 3 main army bases, naval bases and air bases at the county level. As well as a need for electronic air, land and coastal surveillance to dramatically increase the capability to detect and intercept intrusions from the air and sea by smugglers.

  5. Agree on the need to add surveillance capabilities, i.e. land based sea surveillance radar to complement the existing air surveillance systems at Kingston and Montego Bay.

    Disagree that the Army should lead the way. Jamaica is an island, therefore the first line of defense is from the sea. The Coast Guard, and Air Arm should be the priority, with the Army last. However, since the JDF is more like the USMC in more ways than one, an integrated force works as well. But the emphasis should still be at sea.

  6. The JDF also needs to tackle the Armored personnel carrier problems also. What the have? just 2 out of what 16? They need to prepared themselves for a nother crazy Don.

  7. I don't even think the JDF knows what to do with these V-150 little box on wheels. If there was a need for them so many wouldn't have been out of service. Time for some MRAPS, but budget constraints only see the army getting some pickups: http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/112-national-security/29374-jdf-receives-new-vehicles

  8. I laughed when I heard that they received some donated pickup trucks! They could use LAV-25 as the USMC have. Probably could get about 24 used ones donated, then purchase new ones if necessary.

  9. I think you are on point with leveraging the base for assets. I also like the a-29 tucano with the litening pods for the JDF. I think moblile radars would be a better fit and also support the LAV-25 option. Ideally I would like the Canadians to throw in some leapords too but that would be over kill.

  10. Jamaica needs so much help, but they refusing to do something about or asked for the Equipments from the rich Countries is crazy. The politicians are so scared of the Don's and love there garrisons. Plus the needs to stop buying those cheap cars for the JCF that don't last more than a few damn months. I also agree with the comments on here of the needs of The JDF. But I think they do need coastal surveillance radars, 3 more County class ships, 30+ Lav 25, 30+ Humvee's, 6 super Tucano's, 2 to 3 CN 295. And 1 or 2 roll on roll off landing craft.
    Has anyone seen what The Bahamas Defence Force are doing? Google Bahamas Defence Force Contract Damen.

  11. Anyone on skyscraperCity? Look up my JDF page.