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Belize Defence Force leads security team for New Horizons exercise

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)
Soldiers from the Belize Defence Force have been leading the charge in providing round-the-clock teams to safeguard vital New Horizons assets since exercise construction and medical equipment arrived at the Port of Belize last week.

BDF security at each site is critical in allowing the New Horizons engineers to quickly move various shipping containers and maintenance vehicles (tractor trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) from the Port of Belize to various construction site staging areas in Belomopan, Belize City and Hattieville.

Civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize will begin construction on a hospital ward in Belmopan, three schools in Belize City, and one school in Hattieville once the New Horizons exercise kicks-off, April 2. The Belize Defence Force will lead 24/7 security details at each one of the five construction sites until the end of the exercise in late-June.

Last year, during New Horizons, Belize Defence Force soldiers, contractors throughout Belize, and U.S. airmen, soldiers and Marines worked side-by-side to build community centers, medical clinics and schools, and to reinforce hurricane shelters.

The New Horizons exercise began in the mid-1980s and is an annual exercise to train military civil engineers and medical professionals to deploy and conduct joint operations. Since then, Airmen and members of other services working under U.S. Southern Command have built schools, community centers, provided medical care and much more to form partnerships between the United States and Central American, South American and Caribbean nations. The Exercise's principal objectives are to provide U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and all of the logistical requirements it entails and to promote bilateral cooperation by providing real opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train together.