US donates 4 vessels to T&T Coast Guard

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US donates 4 vessels to T&T Coast Guard

The US government has donated four (4) shallow draft riverine vessels which would allow the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard to pursue smugglers even if they try to enter the island through its rivers.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds has admitted that Trinidad and Tobago has “limited capacity” to protect its borders from illegal drugs and guns. The handing-over ceremony was attended by US ambassador Candace Bond who also delivered remarks at a handing-over ceremony.   The assets and upgrade cost approximately US$1.6 million. The ceremony took place at the Coast Guard Headquarters, Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas.

Minister Hinds also said the Defence Force “stands to benefit, very directly and very significantly from the upgrade of the maritime operations command centre: “This newly refurbished and modernised centre allows the Defence Force to more effectively monitor vessels, track vessel traffic more effectively and to integrate the use of geospatial mapping technology and to streamline operational processes,”.

Hinds stated that these additional assets would “lead to increased maritime domain, awareness and more effective command and control”. Ambassador Bond said the “challenges that we confront to dismantle illegal networks serve as a reminder that it takes a network to defeat a network, a single organisation cannot tackle the problem alone”.