By: Marine Seaman Michael Turner II
Even as the 37th anniversary of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force nears (31 March), 2 of its members made history, having studied for the last 12 weeks with members of the Customs Department, culminating with their graduation from The Bahamas Customs and Exercise Induction Training Program on Friday past (17 March 2017).
In the past, Defence Force personnel have taken courses in customs brokerage. However, this has been the first time Defence Force members have completed the full course that was offered.
Leading Seaman Amiel Minus and Woman Marine Nyesha Ferguson participated in Bahamas Customs Induction Training and received certificates for their accomplishments during the ceremony that graduated nearly 150 participants.
The Marines were indoctrinated in areas such as Tariff Classification, Counterfeit & Pirated Goods, Clearance of Inward and Outward Transportation, Powers of the Customs Officer, Origin of Goods, and Customs Procedures. They also engaged in weapons training, range exercises (where Leading Seaman Minus ably assisted), on-site practical training and field exercises.
Congratulating the trainees was keynote speaker, the Right Honourable Perry G. Christie, who shared some future plans for Bahamas Customs, expressing the longevity of their niche in the country and charging them to remember their training.
Also present was the Commander Defence Force (Acting) Captain Tellis A. Bethel, who congratulated the two Marines and asserted the significance of this historical event bodes well with one of the strategies of his leadership team, known as Operation Transformation, that highlights the continued improvement of skills and knowledge base with RBDF personnel.
He further stated that “…duties of Defence Force personnel, by virtue of the Defence Act, often overlap with those of other uniform branches and this opportunity ensures that we are equipped, especially in light of plans to establish the Defence Force’s new Brokerage Section where Minus and Ferguson will be employed.”
Both Marines are currently stationed in the Supply Department of the Force and they both expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of the training and anticipate being able to use their newly acquired skills to the benefit of the overall plans of the Defence Force, in guarding the heritage of our country.