Coral Harbour Base, 27 Feb (RBDF) – On Friday past, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force held a ceremony at its Coral Harbour Base to commission Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship (HMBS) KAMALAMEE into official service. HMBS Kamalamee is the third of four Stan Patrol, 30 meter high speed vessels that have been acquired from Damen Shipbuilding Company in the Netherlands to augment the Defence Force seagoing assets.
As the eighth of nine vessels already procured a…nd delivered under the Sandy Bottom Project, the acquisition of these vessels represents the first phase of a three-part modernization program to assist the Defence Force with the decentralizes of its operations. The remaining phases consist of improving port facilities at Coral Harbour, New Providence Island, Matthew Town, Inagua Island and Gunpoint Ragged Island; and the development of bases at Coral Harbour, Matthew Town and Gunpoint.
The honoured patron of the commissioning ceremony, Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, received the Royal Salute from the Royal Guard commanded by Lieutenant Gladstone Moss. The Parade Commander for the occasion was Acting Lieutenant Commander Omarv Saunders.
The keynote address was delivered by Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Perry G. Christie. He commended the efforts of the Defence Force over the past five years in apprehending approximately 6,000 undocumented migrants, capturing 13 Dominican poaching vessels with some 200 Dominican poachers and 180,000 pounds of fisheries products, rescuing or assisting 600 lives at sea, and providing relief assistance to thousands of Bahamian in the Central and Southern Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew.
The Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Bernard J. Nottage also thanked the members of the Defence Force for their service to country and reiterated that the Defence Force has been called upon to assist in the fight against crime on our streets by employing members to the Urban Renewal program and to conduct joint operations with Police.
Defence Force Officers and Marines were joined by other distinguished guests, families, friends and Defence Force personnel, both active and retired. The Commissioning Warrant issued by Captain Tellis Bethel, Comander Defence Force (Acting) was read by Captain Clyde Sawyer, Captain Coral Harbour as per naval tradition. The Jack and Ensign were officially hoisted and the ship’s commissioning Pennant broken (raised) for the first time.
The ninth and final vessel procured under the Sandy Bottom Project will be commissioned later this year.
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