The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is the military of Belize, and is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF is under the Ministry of Defence, which is currently headed by Hon. John Saldivar; the BDF itself is commanded by Brigadier General David Jones. In 2012, the Belizean government spent about $17 million on the military, constituting 1.08% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
The military of Belize dates back to 1817, when the Prince Regent Royal Honduras Militia, a volunteer organization, was founded. Between 1817 and 1978, the military force in Belize has had ten different names:
After Belize achieved independence in 1981 the United Kingdom maintained the deterrent British Forces Belize in the country to protect it from invasion by Guatemala. During the 1980s this included a battalion and No. 1417 Flight RAF of Harriers. The main British force left in 1994, three years after Guatemala recognised Belizean independence, but the United Kingdom maintained a training presence via the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) and 25 Flight AAC until 2011 when the last British Forces left Ladyville Barracks, with the exception of seconded advisers. The BDF Maritime Wing became part of the Belizean Coastguard in November 2005.
In October 2015, due to rising tensions between Belize and Guatemala and the British cutback on military bases worldwide to focus on the War On Terror in 2011, Belize asked the UK to bring BATSUB back; the British Government brought BATSUB to Belize once again.
The BDF consists of:
The Belize Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff (2008). The Belize Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.
|Recoilless rifle||Sweden||anti-armor anti-personal||6|
|L16 81mm||United Kingdom||portable mortar||6|
|Britten-Norman BN-2||United Kingdom||transport / utility||1|
|Bell UH-1||United States||utility||UH-1H||2|
|T67 Firefly||United Kingdom||basic trainer||M260||1|
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.