EDITOR, The Tribune.
FIRST, I highly recommend that Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Leader, The Hon Dr Hubert Minnis, hires a military consultant to best advise him on matters concerning the employment of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RDBF), particularly in support of civilian authorities... In fact, in keeping with provisions contained in the Defence Act, for decades the RBDF has provided personnel to assist The Bahamas Immigration Department in the round up, detention, and deportation of illegal immigrants.
Moreover, since its inception, the Defence Force has deployed its personnel during periods of national disasters to assist our civilian population in recovery efforts. Besides, oversight of these operations currently falls under the Director of NEMA, who is presently a senior Defence Force Officer under secondment to National Security working in this civilian capacity.
Furthermore, immediately following 9/11, Defence Force Personnel were provided with specialised US Military Training and dispatched forthwith to guard and protect our nation's major ports of entry, including Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport. Please be advised, the swift deployment of these brave men and women to provide security to our ports practically rescued our nation's number one industry, tourism, from ultimate demise.
Prior to this, the United States was threatening to issue a travel advisory to their citizens coming to The Bahamas, as they had considered us to be a "soft" target for terrorism.
Today, these well-trained Marines provide security and protection to the cruise ship passengers at Prince George Dock.
Second, I am taken aback that Dr Minnis appears to be totally unaware that RBDF Commandos are competently trained in tactics in support of civilian authorities during periods of civil unrest.
Truth be told, our nation is in the middle of a crime crisis, which, in my humble opinion, spiraled out of control because of ineffective action undertaken by successive governments.
Please be advised, I intend to forward a revised copy of my national plan to combat crime to this publication for printing, which I had authored and posted on the internet a few years ago.
In fact, I had a copy sent by e-mail to the former Minister of National Security, Tommy Turnquest; however, all he did was acknowledge receipt of the correspondence.
Third, l would like to remind Dr Minnis that during the civil unrest in Bimini several years ago, the Royal Bahamas Police Strike Force, backed up by Defence Force Commandos, were immediately dispatched aboard two Defence Force vessels to maintain law and order in that region of our archipelago.
Today, in my humble opinion, drastic times call for drastic action. Consequently, I strongly disagree with the Minister's comments that deployment of qualified and well-trained Marine Commandos to augment the Royal Bahamas Police Force in high crime areas "would cripple border protection efforts", as the Defence Force has always performed admirably during periods of national crisis.
June 10, 2012