Bahamas co-hosted the 3rd Annual Stan Patrol User Group (SPUG) Conference. The prime objective of the meeting was to transfer knowledge concerning operations, maintenance, engineering, design, logistics and customer relations between DAMEN and the owners of DAMEN built vessel to further enhance maintenance and the operational efficiency of these Stan Patrol vessels.
The two-day conference was sponsored by DAMEN, Alphatron Marine and Pon Power and hosted by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force from November 16th – 17th, 2017. The theme of this year’s conference was, “Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Recovery, from a maritime perspective.”
Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel, welcomed the representatives from The Bahamas, as well as the various Defence Forces and Coast Guards of participating nations from around the Americas, namely; Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dutch Caribbean, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.
The Minister of National Security, the Honorable Marvin Dames gave the opening remarks. In his remarks, the minister noted, “Disaster relief and recovery is heavily dependent on the maritime environment to be facilitated, especially in small island nations …. Maritime assets close this gap by allowing for bulk transport of supplies, man-power, and other required assistance, in an effort to restore normalcy in the shortest possible time.”
The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was alsob included at this edition of SPUG in light of its role as the lead agency in The Bahamas for the coordination of Disaster Preparation, Relief and Recovery efforts. Additionally, this agency works in close cooperation with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and Regional and International Agencies in the coordination and execution of pre-, peri- and post-disaster efforts.
Conference participants from Belize–Mr. Felix Enriquez, Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Defence Force and Admiral John Borland, Chief of Defence Staff in the Belize Defence Force–along with a DAMEN representative made a brief sea voyage onboard HMBS KAMALAMEE under the command of Senior Lieutenant Valentino Rolle and later rejoined the sessions at the conference center.
When the conference at the center concluded, participants were invited to tour the Defence Force’s Coral Harbour Base. Exchanges with Commodore Tellis Bethel were also made before their closing dinner.
The Conference was hosted at the Paul H. Farqhuarson Conference Center.