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Jamaica Defence Force

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Jamaica Defence Force
Seal of the Jamaica Defence Force.svg
Jamaica Defence Force badge
Headquarters Up Park Camp, Kingston
Leadership
Minister of Defence Andrew Holness
Chief of Defence Staff Major-General Rocky R. Meade
Manpower
Military age 16 years of age for selection process, 17 years of age is actual serving age (As of 2007)
Available for
military service
747,043 males, age 16–49 (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
523,550 males, age 16–49 (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
27,729 males (2005 est.)
Expenditures
Budget $31,170,000 (ranked 141st)
Percent of GDP 0.6%(2007)

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is the combined military of Jamaica, consisting of an Army, Air Wing and Coast Guard.[1] The JDF is based upon the British military model, with similar organisation, training, weapons and traditions. Once chosen, officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending upon the arm of service. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot Newcastle. As on the British model, NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

History

West Indian soldiers, c. 1861

The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in WWII. The West India Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation. The dissolution of the Federation resulted in the establishment of the JDF.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard element is divided between seagoing crews and support crews. It conducts maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The support battalion contains a Military Police platoon as well as vehicle, armourers and supply units. The 1st Engineer Regiment provides military engineering support to the JDF. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF commander, command staff as well as intelligence, judge advocate office, administrative and procurement sections.

Jamaican soldiers in 2010

In recent years the JDF has been called upon to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an opposition leader, Edward Seaga, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This move has not garnered support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.

Major units of the Jamaica Defence Force

Army Equipment

Name Origin Type Variant Notes
Jamaican army equipment[2][3]
Small arms
GP35 United States pistol
Glock Austria Pistol 17
M16 Rifle United States assault rifle M4
SA80 United Kingdom assault rifle
FN MAG Belgium machine gun L7A1
M2 machine gun United States heavy machine gun
Springfield M79 United States Grenade Launcher
Artillery
L16 81mm Mortar United Kingdom Mortar
2-inch mortar United Kingdom Mortar
Transport
Land Rover United Kingdom patrol vehicle
Toyota Land Cruiser Japan utility vehicle
Toyota Hiace Japan Minibus
Toyota Coaster Japan Minibus
Ford L Truck United States heavy-duty truck LN7000/8000
Toyota Dyna Japan van
Armored vehicles
Cadillac Gage Commando United States APC
Staff cars
Volvo S90 Sweden executive car 1 for use by the Chief of Staff
Toyota Crown Japan executive car used by senior staff and commanding officers
Toyota Corona Japan executive car used by senior officers
Toyota Hilux Japan pickup truck used for administrative purposes
Toyota Camry Japan executive car Used for senior officers
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Japan utility vehicle for administrative purposes

Past Chiefs of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (1962–2007)

1962–1965 Brigadier Paul Edwin Crook, CBE, DSO
1965–1973 Brigadier David Hartman Smith, CVO, OBE, ED
1973 Brigadier Dunstan Fitzgerald Robinson, CD, OBE, ED
1973–1979 Major-General Rudolph Edward George Green, CD, OStJ
1979–1990 Major-General Robert James Neish, CD, AFC
1990–1998 Rear-Admiral Peter Lorenzo Brady, CD, CVO, MMM
1998–2002 Major-General John I Simmonds, CVO, OD
2002–2007 Rear-Admiral Hardley M Lewin, CD, ADC, JP, psc (n)
2007 Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, ADC, MSc, JP, psc

In December 2007 the title of Chief of Staff was replaced by Chief of Defence Staff and filled by incumbent.

Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)

2008–2010 Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, JP, ADC, MSc, psc
2010-2017 Major-General Antony Bertram Anderson, OD, JP, MDA, BEng (Hons), psc
2017- Major-General Rocky R. Meade, OD, JP, PhD, MMAS, MA, BA (Hons), psc[4]

Bands

The JDF also supports two military bands;

  • Jamaica Military Band - this is the band that is descended from the band of the West India Regiment, and was formed in February 1927. It is one of only two units in the world (the other being the Band of the Barbados Regiment) that wears the uniform of the zouaves.[5]
  • Jamaica Regiment Band - this band was originally formed as the Band of the West India Regiment formed in 1959 as the military force of the Federation of the West Indies. With the Federation's break up and the independence of Jamaica, it became the Band of the 1st Battalion, Jamaica Regiment. It gained its current name with the formation of the 2nd Battalion in 1979.[6]

JDF Coast Guard

The Coast Guard was formed in 1962 as The Jamaica Sea Guards and under the current name in 1966.[7]

In 2016 the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard was staffed by 241 individuals.[1] Eurasia Review reported its vessels were short of spares, poorly maintained, and hardly ever put to sea.

Ships in Active Service

Name of Ship Length Max speed Crew/Capacity Class Builder Delivery
HMJS Cornwall 42.8 m 26 knots 12 + 4 County Class Offshore Patrol Vessel Damen Group 2017 [8]
HMJS Middlesex 42.8 m 26 knots 12 + 4 County Class Offshore Patrol Vessel Damen Group 2017 [8]
HMJS Fort Charles (P 7) 35.3 m 32 knots 16 Fort Swiftships 1974
HMJS Paul Bogle (P 8) 32.3 m 30 knots 17 Hero Lantana Boatyard 1985

Other smaller vessels include:[9]

  • 37 ft Boston Whaler[10]
  • 9m Boston Whaler
  • 6m Boston Whaler
  • RHIB
  • 12m Fast Patrol Craft (CG 121 - 124)
  • 13m Fast Coast Interceptors

Retired Ships of the JDF Coast Guard

The Coast Guard's first ships were 63 ft wooden World War II torpedo recovery boats (torpedo retrievers) from the United States Navy and operated from 1962 to 1966.[7]

  • HMJS Yoruba (P 1)
  • HMJS Coromante (P 2)
  • HMJS Mandingo (P 3)
  • HMJS Discovery Bay (P 4)
  • HMJS Holland Bay (P 5)
  • HMJS Manatee Bay (P 6)
  • HMJS "Surrey" (Damen Stan 4207 delivered in 2006)[8]
  • HMJS "Cornwall" (Damen Stan 4207 delivered in 2006)
  • HMJS "Middlesex" (Damen Stan 4207 delivered in 2006)

JDF Air Wing

Roundel of Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Helicopters
Bell 407 United States utility / patrol 3[11]
Bell 412 United States utility / SAR 2[11]
Trainer Aircraft
Diamond DA40 Canada basic trainer DA40 FP 2[12]
Diamond DA42 Canada multi-engine trainer DA42 NG 2[12]
Bell 206 United States trainer 2[11]

Retired aircraft

  • Bell 47G Sioux - Two helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1963 to 1964.
  • Bell 212 Twin Huey - Three helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1973 to 1999.
  • Bell 222UT - One helicopter used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1986 to 1988.
  • Bell UH-1H Iroquois - Four helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1989 to 1998.
  • Beech B60 Duke - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
  • Beechcraft King Air A100 - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
  • Eurocopter AS355N Ecureuil 2 - Four helicopters used by the 3rd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1999 to 2009.
  • Cessna 185 Skywagon - Four aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1963 to 1985.
  • de Havilland Canada Twin Otter - Two aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1967 to 1980.

Incidents

On July 1, 2009 a Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing Bell 412EP helicopter was on its way back to Up Park Camp from a training mission when it began experiencing mechanical issues. The helicopter crashed into the ground at Up Park Camp, injuring the captain, his co-pilot and a crew member.[13]

Ranks of the Jamaica Defence Force

Commissioned Officers

JDF Coast Guard Other Units
Rear Admiral Major General
Commodore Brigadier
Captain (N) Colonel
Commander Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Commander Major
Lieutenant (sg) Captain
Lieutenant (jg) Lieutenant
Sub Lieutenant 2nd Lieutenant

Enlisted Ranks

JDF Coast Guard Other Units
Master Chief Petty Officer I Warrant Officer 1
Master Chief Petty Officer II Warrant Officer Class 2
Chief Petty Officer Colour Sergeant / Staff Sergeant
Petty Officer Sergeant
Leading Seaman Corporal
Able Seaman Lance Corporal
Ordinary Seaman Private

Additional training

Besides inhouse training, the JDF has been trained by members of the Canadian Forces to deal with special needs.[14]

See also

References

Citations
  1. ^ a b Sanjay Badri-Maharaj (2016-12-11). "Jamaica Defence Force: Balancing Priorities With Resources – Analysis". Eurasia Review. Retrieved 2016-12-11. The Jamaica Defence Force is a brigade-sized unit comprising land, sea and air formations and is possibly the largest military establishment within the English-speaking Caribbean. 
  2. ^ "Jamaica". Armies of the World. Archived from the original on 2016-12-26. The military budget is 48 million dollars (2001). 
  3. ^ "Equipment". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Chief of Defence Staff: Major General Rocky R. Meade, OD, JP, PhD, MMAS, MA, BA (Hons), psc". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-20. Major General Rocky Meade is Jamaica's 3rd Chief of Defence Staff and 11th Head of the JDF. He assumed the role on December 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Jamaica Military Band". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. 
  6. ^ "Jamaica Regiment Band (TU)". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. 
  7. ^ a b "MOTTO:Service for the Lives of Others.". Jamaica Defense Fund. Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-02-20. The Sea Squadron was renamed the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (JDF CG) in 1966 and the naval White Ensign, naval rank insignia and Royal Navy - patterned uniforms were adopted. 
  8. ^ a b c "Jamaica Defence Force returns to Damen for fleet renewal Share this page". Damen Group. 2016-11-17. Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  9. ^ "Ships". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. 
  10. ^ "JDF Coast Guard gets two new vessels from United States". The Jamaica Observer. 27 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Aircraft". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-07-11. 
  13. ^ "3 JDF soldiers injured in helicopter crash". The Jamaica Observer. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "Canada lends search and rescue aid to Jamaica". CBC News. 10 August 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. 
Bibliography

External links