BELIZE CITY, Belize --
The opening ceremony for New Horizons Belize is scheduled for March 25, 2013, at Ladyville Technical High School.
New Horizons gives U.S. and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. It is a U.S. Southern Command exercise providing medical and dental treatment as well as constructs needed structures, such as classrooms, throughout Belize.
U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, and the commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brig. Gen. David Jones, are expected to be in attendance.
"New Horizons Belize is a testament to the solid working relationship between Belize and the U.S. I am pleased that SOUTHCOM continues to visit Belize," said U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally. "These teams provide quality construction and medical care free of cost to the public and receive training as they work side-by-side with Belizean military and civilian authorities".
Approximately 500 U.S. military personnel will participate in the exercise on a rotational basis. Another 150 Belizean military personnel are scheduled to participate, including 120 civil engineers and 30 medical personnel. Volunteers from non-governmental organizations, such as Project HOPE, Latter-day Saint charities, and the Belize City chapter of the Rotary Club of Belize are also participating in New Horizons. Their contributions range from volunteering medical services to donating and distributing desks and other equipment for the school additions that are built.
Doctors and medical specialists from the U.S., Canada, and Belize will provide medical treatment to the local communities and are scheduled to be in Belmopan, Dangriga, Orange Walk, and Punta Gorda at various times during the exercise. In addition, civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize will construct various structures at schools in Ladyville, Crooked Tree and Orange Walk, which will support furthering the education for the children in the country.
"This is a great opportunity to work together to produce lasting results for the U.S. forces and the Belizean people," said Col. Stuart Weinberger, Task Force Mahogany commander. "Thanks to Belize's hospitality, our forces will experience great training and we'll leave well-built school facilities. More importantly, we'll leave with lasting friendships with our Belizean partners."
Once the New Horizons Exercise is complete, all facilities constructed will be turned over to the Government of Belize for maintenance and use. For updates on projects and events, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewHorizons2013