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The BELIZE DEFENCE FORCE (BDF) is the military of Belize
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
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).

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Organization

* 2.1 Crew-served weapons * 2.2 Aircraft

* 3 Facilities * 4 References * 5 External links

HISTORY

Brig. Gen. Lloyd Gillett, addresses soldiers at a ceremony marking the completion of training with the U.S. Marine Corps

The military of Belize
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
Belize
has had ten different names:

* The Prince Regent's Royal Militia (1817-1866), * The Belize
Belize
Volunteer Force (1866-1868); * The Belize
Belize
Volunteer Corps (1868-1883); * The Belize
Belize
Light Infantry Volunteer Force (1897-1905); * British Honduras
British Honduras
Volunteers (1905-1916); * British Honduras
British Honduras
Territorial Force (1916-1928); * British Honduras
British Honduras
Defense Force (1928-1944); * British Honduras
British Honduras
Home Guard (1942-1943), * British Honduras
British Honduras
Volunteer Guard (1943-1973), * Belize
Belize
Volunteer Guard (1973-1977).

The BDF was founded in 1978 following the disbanding of the Belize Volunteer Guard and the Police Special
Special
Force the year before.

After Belize
Belize
achieved independence in 1981 the United Kingdom maintained the deterrent British Forces Belize
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
United Kingdom
maintained a training presence via the British Army
British Army
Training and Support Unit Belize
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
Belize
and Guatemala and the British cutback on military bases worldwide to focus on the War On Terror in 2011, Belize
Belize
asked the UK to bring BATSUB back; the British Government brought BATSUB to Belize
Belize
once again.

ORGANIZATION

The BDF consists of:

* Three infantry battalions, each comprising three companies * Three reserve companies * One support group * Air Wing

The Belize
Belize
Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff (2008). The Belize
Belize
Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.

As of 2012, there are also 40 British Army
British Army
personnel stationed in Belize.

CREW-SERVED WEAPONS

WEAPON ORIGIN TYPE QUANTITY

TRANSPORT

Recoilless rifle Sweden
Sweden
anti-armor anti-personal 6

L16 81mm United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portable mortar 6

AIRCRAFT

AIRCRAFT ORIGIN TYPE VARIANT IN SERVICE NOTES

TRANSPORT

Britten-Norman BN-2 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
transport / utility

1

HELICOPTERS

Bell UH-1 United States
United States
utility UH-1H 2

TRAINER AIRCRAFT

T67 Firefly United Kingdom
United Kingdom
basic trainer M260 1

FACILITIES

* Mountain Pine Ridge Training Area - south of Belmopan
Belmopan
used for jungle warfare by Belize, US, Dutch and British forces * Price Barracks - Ladyville
Ladyville
- Air Wing HQ and former British helicopter base; it is named for the country's first Prime Minister George Cadle Price
George Cadle Price
* Fairweather Camp - Punta Gorda Town - HQ for 2nd Bat and former British military base * Orange Walk Airport (Army) - Orange Walk District
Orange Walk District
* Belizario Camp - San Ignacio - border area base * Corozal Training Centre - Corozal Town
Corozal Town
* Dangriga
Dangriga
Training Centre - Dangriga
Dangriga
* Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport
- main airbase * Hector Silva Airstrip - small base located south of the airstrip; this is a secondary airstrip and was used by the British Army
British Army
* Punta Gorda Airport is a secondary airstrip * St. George\'s Caye (Army) * Holdfast Camp (Army) * Baldy Beacons (Army) * Rideau Camp (Army) * Salamanca Camp (Army) * Militia Hall- Belize
Belize
City

REFERENCES

Notes

* ^ A B C D E F G H I J IISS (2012), p. 374 * ^ "Belize". CIA World Factbook. * ^ D.N.A. Fairweather, A Short History of the Volunteer Forces of British Honduras
British Honduras
(now Belize) * ^ A B Phillips, Dion E. (2002). "The Military of Belize". Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. * ^ "Belize". Channel 5. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. * ^ "No Joke Jimmy,The Brits Are Back". 7 News Belize. Retrieved October 28, 2015. * ^ " Belize
Belize
Police Department - About the Department". Police.gov.bz. Retrieved 2012-06-08. * ^ A B C "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

Works cited

* International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS.