Ten Commanding Officers (CO’s) of Defence Force patrol crafts were officially presented with their appointments to their Command posts on Tuesday past at HMBS Coral Harbour.
During a brief ceremony, the Officers were presented with certificates by the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King. This is a symbolic trust that the Defence Force has vested the confidence in their ability to handle the vessel, along with the responsible for the morale and welfare of the men and women who are assigned to the vessels.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Captain Philip Clarke, Senior Executive Staff Officer; Captain Michael Simmons, Captain Coral Harbour; Senior Commander Chapell Whyms, Commander of Operations; and Commander Stephen Rolle, the Squadron Commanding Officer.
In his brief remarks, Commodore King thanked the Officers for accepting the challenge to serve as leaders of the various fleet, and reminded them that they hold awesome responsibilities to both the organization and the men and women who work for them.
Receiving awards as Honorary Commanding Officers were Captain Shawn Adderley, Captain Glenn McPhee and Commander William Sturrup, who all were recognized in their roles as Commanding Officers on various crafts.
The awardees included Lieutenant Commander Valentino Rolle and Lieutenant Commander Samantha Hart, who serve as CO’s aboard The Bahama Class vessels; Lieutenant Commander Omarv Saunders commands HMBS LAWRENCE MAJOR; Senior Lieutenants Alexis Brown, Jataro McDonald, and Roberto Adderley serve as CO’s of the Legend Class craft; and Senior Lieutenant Ricardo McQueen, Senior Lieutenant Elwood Simms, Lieutenant James Cox and Lieutenant Owen Sands serve as Commanding Officers of the Flora Class vessels.
On March 19, 2018, the then Senior Lieutenant Hart officially became the first female on the Royal Bahamas Defence Force when she assumed command of a 30-meter Flora Class vessel patrol craft.
The ceremony, which was organized with the assistance of the Squadron and Operations branches of the force, seeks to recognize the achievements of the Officers. As the Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to patrol and guard the territorial integrity of The Bahamas, the organization also seeks to encourage and reward the dedicated men and women for their sacrifice of labour.