Jamaican-soldier

Jamaica off to a defensive start in 2016 against crime

As an organization not much is known about the JDF (Jamaica Defense Force) other than it serves as Jamaica’s de facto ‘army’. Which as country that shares no land borders, might be seen as obsolete but while Jamaica presently has no land based threat, it still has several maritime issues from time to time. And this is where the importance of an active defense force really becomes an asset to an sovereign nation. But how did the JDF come into being and why is it so important to everyday Jamaican life? Well, the JDF got its start as a part of the WIR ( West India Regiment) which were a segment of the colonial British army from 1795 to 1927.

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After several re configurations, one most notably in 1958 while the region explored the idea of Federation of the West Indies, the WIR finally became a symbol of a bygone era in 1962 when among other things the federation dissolved making way the newly independent head nations: Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. But what to do with those armed forces? Well, of the three WIR battalions only two survived post dissolution with the 1st battalion, who were stationed in Jamaica, subsequently becoming the JDF.

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The years since independence, the JDF has been used to assist the nation’s police, the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) on several operations including but not limited to drug smuggling and gang activity. With the JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. The latter fact makes the recent acquisition of twelve new Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles so important. These vehicles, which form part of the new PMV (Protected Mobility Vehicle) Squadron, will enable the JDF to fulfil one of its core mandates. That is the ability to deliver its manpower and capabilities to ensure operational success in demanding and dangerous situations.

Prince Harry on the shooting range with the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp. www.mirror.co.uk

Prince Harry on the shooting range with the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp. www.mirror.co.uk

This is a welcomed boost that Jamaica’s National Security needed to head into the new year better equipped to combat crime islandwide. This is a fight, however, that does not begin nor does it end with Portia Simpson-Miller or the Jamaican government. This is a fight that should taken on by every single Jamaican as crime affects every last one of us.

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