The leadership of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is anticipating that 2020 will be a year well suited for improving its enforcement footprint and capitalizing on remaining vigilant as the primary agency tasked with border protection in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The Force’s Command Team has been welcoming fresh perspectives and initiatives, particularly technology to respond to the changing climate of maritime business and crimes. The RBDF is poised to employ a number of new initiatives and strategies geared at increasing detection levels and deterring would be organized criminals from wreaking havoc within its expansive maritime borders.
“Many persons cannot begin to understand how our waters stretches on forever,” said Lieutenant Commander Stephen Rolle, Squadron Commanding Officer. “You can sit in the middle of the ocean on a clear day and your visibility is about 12 miles with the naked eye for vessel silhouettes and a further 24+- miles with a radar. Our Commanding Officers of vessels have been continually adapting their patrol patterns and strategies to enhance efficiency and chances of spotting contraventions.”
Several of the initiatives already implemented to assist those at sea or stationed on the various satellite bases throughout the country, include implementation of over the horizon radars at strategic choke points within the Bahamas. These in and of itself however have a limited reach, again being able to provide sweeping situational detection for another 50 plus miles, but of course being able to be evaded by those diligent in their pursuit to receive illegal gains. Thus, the presence of radars and CCTVS and other such innovations are a welcomed addition as they help with identifying vessels spotted within their limits.
Additionally, the recent signing of the contract to build 55 unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to supplement the outputs of the Force is highly anticipated. Once these drones have been built to specification and are in hand, they will be used to help in extending the reach of law enforcement officials within their various areas of operation. The creation of the Drone Academy will also place our law enforcement personnel in a position to tailor this industry in our future as the technology and relevant software are introduced and embraced.
However it must be realized that technology alone is rife with gaps and limitations. Hence, The Defence Force is therefore also intent on investing in our human element with increased courses and skills development as well as strategic recruitment. Captain King, Acting Commander Defence Force remarks that he is “very pleased with the efforts of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force who have committed to service above self and acknowledges that there are subject matter experts in such a myriad of areas.” He is encouraged “that a viable solution will be realized with each new challenge that emerges.” Captain King also encourages “members of the public to call in to report any suspicious activity and infractions they may witness occurring. It is and has always been a communal responsibility to make the Bahamas better. We in the Force will continue to do what we must, enhancing our Maritime Domain Awareness and subsequent deterrence, detection, tracking, and interdiction success through the use of overlapping technologies and strategies.”