Front Page
June 27, 2014
Coast guard base opens on Canouan

The new coast guard base on the Grenadine island of Canouan, which was opened on Tuesday, is expected to make the porous borders of our multi-island nation more secure.

The structure was built at a cost of two million dollars, under the United States funded Caribbean Basin Initiative, in an area called Grand Bay, to assist with the protection {{more}}of what local officials term the “soft underbelly” of the nation’s security.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the base fits strategically within the country’s coastal surveillance plan, and offers a measure of security for investors on the southern Grenadine isle.

“This operation is linked to the coastal radar system, financed by the government of Trinidad and Tobago with three sites on the mainland.

“So that on St Vincent we have a coverage; no one enters and leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines. One hundred per cent coverage, so that we can see who are coming and going, and this is connected to that surveillance arrangement.

“The people who are coming with the marina know that you are going to be relatively safe from bandits, who want to use the sea to come in and disturb our safety and our security.

United States Ambassador to the OECS and Barbados Larry Palmer indicated that it was a proud moment for him to hand over the base, for which construction ran from October 2012 to September 2013.

Palmer indicated that the base was a small measure of the partnership between the two countries, and noted that the countries’ relationship goes past matters of security.

“This coast guard base is only part of the long term United States commitment to support your home grown capacity building efforts to increase the country’s national security.

“Our work together benefits both of our nations and our shared Caribbean region, as we strive shoulder to shoulder to better the lives of our citizens in the face of the numerous challenges of today. Together we are stronger and more resolute than either of us would be alonalone,” Palmer added.(JJ)