Barbados Defence Force
The Barbados Defence Force is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established August 15, 1979, has responsibility for the territorial defence and internal security of the island; the headquarters for the Barbados Defence Force is located at St. Ann's Fort base at The Garrison, Saint Michael; the Barbados Defence Force is headquartered at St. Anns Fort, where the administrative and logistical support for the entire Defence force is made. There are three main components of the BDF: The Barbados Regiment – This branch is commanded by the Commanding Officer Of The Barbados Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Lovell and is based at St Anns Fort and Paragon Base; this is the main land force component, encompasses both regular and reserve units. Barbados Coast Guard – This branch is commanded by the Commanding Officer Of The Barbados Coast Guard Commander Mark Peterson and is based at HMBS Pelican; this is the maritime element, with responsibility for patrolling Barbados' territorial waters as well as drug interdiction and humanitarian and life-saving exercises.
It too encompasses both regular and reserve units. Barbados Cadet Corps – This branch is commanded by the Commanding Officer Of The Barbados Cadet Corps Lieutenant Colonel Errol Brathwaite; this is the Military youth organisation of The Defence Force. Includes Infantry and Sea Cadets; this organisation was started in 1904. The first females joined the cadet corps in the 1970s to 1980s; the Cadet Corps has a pledge and a song. It started with 3 normal units but today has expanded to 22; these units are grouped into Zones. There are a band, sea cadet and medical units along with a shooting programme; the Barbados air wing was formed in 1971, it operated 1 Beech Queen Air. In 1981 A Cessna 402C was acquired. Since 1985 all aircraft have been retired and the air wing ceased to exist but the BDF is looking to re-establish an air wing. Interpol Defence Forces Military history of Barbados Regional Security System World Aircraft information files Brightstar publishing London File 342 Sheet 1 Barbados Defence Force official website Barbados Defence Force
Geography of Dominica
Dominica is an island in the Caribbean Sea, located about halfway between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Its coordinates are 15 25 N, 61 20 W, it is known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular and varied flora and fauna, protected by an extensive natural park system. It is the fourth largest island in the Eastern Caribbean with a population of people from African descent; the lowest point in the country is at sea level along the coast, the highest is Morne Diablotins. The extreme southwestern coast of the island includes a large collapsed submarine caldera. Portions of the exposed rim of this caldera form the southwestern tip of the island at Scott's Head. Natural resources include farming and timber. Geographically, Dominica is distinctive in many ways; the country has one of the most rugged landscapes in the Caribbean, covered by a unexploited, multi-layered rain forest. It is among the Earth's most rain-drenched lands, the water runoff forms cascading rivers and natural pools.
The island, home to rare species of wildlife, is considered by many as a beautiful, unspoiled tropical preserve. According to a popular West Indian belief, Dominica is the only New World territory that Columbus would still recognize. Dominica is the most northerly of the Windward Islands; the island faces the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea to the west. Its nearest neighbors are the French islands of Guadeloupe, some 48 kilometres north, Martinique, about 40 kilometres south. Oblong-shaped and smaller than New York City, Dominica is 750 square kilometres in area, 47 kilometres in length, 29 kilometres in width. Roseau, the nation's capital and major port, is favorably situated on the sheltered, southwestern coast; the island's climate is tropical, moderated by heavy rainfall. Dominica has a tropical rainforest climate and some areas bordering on a tropical monsoon climate with characteristically warm temperatures and heavy rainfall. Excessive heat and humidity are tempered somewhat by a steady flow of the northeast trade winds, which periodically develop into hurricanes during the Northern Hemisphere's summer.
The steep interior slopes alter temperatures and winds. Because of the moderating effects of the surrounding ocean temperature ranges are slight. Average daytime temperatures vary from 26 °C in January to 32 °C in June. Diurnal ranges are no greater than 3 °C in most places, but temperatures dipping to 13 °C on the highest peaks are not uncommon. Most of the island's ample supply of water is brought by the trade winds. Although amounts vary with the location, rain is possible throughout the year, with the greatest monthly totals recorded from June through October. Average yearly rainfall along the windward east coast exceeds 5,000 mm, exposed mountainsides receive up to 9,000 mm, among the highest accumulations in the Caribbean and the world. Totals on the leeward west coast, are only about 1,800 mm per year. Humidities are tied to rainfall patterns, with the highest values occurring on windward slopes and the lowest in sheltered areas. Relative humidity readings between 70 percent and 90 percent have been recorded in Roseau.
Hurricanes and severe winds, most to occur during the wettest months are devastating. The most recent hurricanes of note were David and maria and Frederic in August 1979 and Allen in August 1980; the 1979 hurricanes caused over 40 deaths, 2,500 injuries, extensive destruction of housing and crops. Many agricultural commodities were destroyed during the 1980 storm, about 25 percent of the banana crop was destroyed by strong winds in 1984. Dominica is vulnerable to hurricanes as the island is located in what is referred to as the hurricane region. In 1979, Dominica was hit directly by Category 5 Hurricane David, causing widespread and extreme damage. On August 17, 2007, Hurricane Dean, a Category 1 at the time, hit the island. A mother and her seven-year-old son died when a landslide caused by the heavy rains fell onto their house. In another incident two people were injured. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit estimated that 100 to 125 homes were damaged, that the agriculture sector was extensively damaged, in particular the banana crop.
Below is the climate data for Roseau, the capital city located on the western side of Dominica shielded from the trade winds by the mountains. Bays are as follows from the northern tip of the island in a clockwise direction: Agoucha Bay Sandwich Bay Grand Baptiste Bay Petit Bapitiste Bay La Taille Bay Rough Bay Marigot Bay Walker's Rest Bay Sophia Bay Londonderry Bay Mango Hole Bay Middle Bay Panto Hole Bay Petite Soufriere Bay Soufriere Bay Woodbridge Bay Prince Rupert Bay Douglas Bay Dominica was the last island to be formed in the Caribbean; the island was created by volcanic action about 26 mya. It lies upon two opposing tectonic plates; this explains why an island a bit bigger than Martha's Vineyard has mountains approaching 5,000 feet. Geologically, Dominica is part of the rugged Lesser Antilles volcanic arc; the country's central spine, a northwest-southeast axis of steep volcanic slopes and deep gorges varies in elevation from 300 to 1,400 metres above sea level. Several east-west trending mountain spurs extend to the narrow coastal plain, studded with sea cliffs and has level stretches no wider than 2,000 metres.
The highest peak is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 metres.
Battle of the Saintes
The Battle of the Saintes, or Battle of Dominica, was an important naval battle in the Caribbean between the British and the French that took place 9 April 1782 – 12 April 1782, during the American Revolutionary War. The British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse, forcing the French and Spanish to abandon a planned invasion of Jamaica; the battle is named after the Saintes, a group of islands between Guadeloupe and Dominica in the West Indies. The French fleet had the year before blockaded the British Army at Chesapeake Bay during the Siege of Yorktown and supported the eventual American victory in their revolution; the French suffered heavy casualties at the Saintes and many were taken prisoner, including the admiral, Comte de Grasse. Four French ships of the line were captured and one was destroyed. Rodney was credited with pioneering the tactic of "breaking the line" in the battle, though this is disputed. In October 1781, Admiral Comte de Grasse, commander of the French fleet in the West Indies.
The strategic objectives of the Franco-Spanish military forces in the West Indies in this plan were: to aid the Americans and defeat the British naval squadron at New York to capture the British Windward Islands and to conquer Jamaica. This plan became known as the "De Grasse – Saavedra Convention"; the first objective was met by the surrender of the British army under General Cornwallis at the Siege of Yorktown in September 1781. Grasse and his fleet played a decisive part in that victory, after which they returned to the Caribbean. On arrival in Saint Domingue in November 1781, the admiral was notified to proceed with a plan for the conquest of Jamaica. Jamaica was the largest and most profitable British island in the Caribbean because of sugar. King George III wrote to Lord Sandwich, saying that he would risk protecting Britain's important Caribbean islands at the risk of Britain herself, this was the strategy implemented in 1779. Sugar was worth five times as much as tobacco; the French and Spanish were fighting to take over Jamaica in order to expel the British from the West Indies, to strike a massive blow against the British economy.
The courts at Paris and Madrid perceived the invasion of Jamaica as an alternative to the Spanish and French attempts to take Gibraltar, which for two years had been a costly disaster. While Grasse waited for reinforcements to undertake the Jamaica campaign, he captured St. Kitts in February 1782; the rest of the Windward Islands - Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados - still remained under British control. Admiral George Rodney arrived in the Caribbean theater the following month; these gave the British a slight numerical advantage. On 7 April 1782, Grasse set out from Martinique with 35 ships of the line, including two 50-gun ships and a large convoy of more than 100 cargo ships, to meet with a Spanish fleet of 12 ships of the line. In addition, Grasse was to rendezvous with 15,000 troops at Saint Domingue, who were earmarked for the conquest and intended to land on Jamaica's north coast. Rodney, on learning of this, sailed from St Lucia in pursuit with 36 ships of the line the following day; the British hulls by this time had been given copper sheathing to protect them from marine growth and fouling, as well as salt water corrosion.
This improved speed and sailing performance as a whole in good wind. On 9 April 1782, the copper-hulled British fleet soon caught up with the French, who were surprised by their speed. Admiral de Grasse ordered the French convoy to head into Guadeloupe for repair, forcing him to escort two fifty-gun ships, placing his fleet in line of battle in order to cover the retreat; the British fleet became separated from rear divisions. But eight ships of their vanguard under Rear-Admiral Samuel Hood moved against Grasse's retreating ships and waged a fight. After an inconclusive encounter in which both sides suffered damage, Grasse soon realized that the main British fleet would soon be upon them, he broke off the engagement to return to protect the merchant convoy. In the following days the two fleets faced each other parallel but both sides kept their distance as they repaired their ships. On 12 April, the French were sighted a short distance away, as the two fleets maneuvered between the northern end of Dominica and the Saintes.
A French straggler, Zélé, was spotted and was chased by four British ships as De Grasse made for Guadeloupe. He bore up with his fleet to protect the ship which led him to Guadeloupe and at the same time Rodney recalled his chasing ships and made the signal for line of battle. Rear-Admiral Hood's van division were still making repairs from the action three days earlier, so he directed his rear division, under Rear Admiral Francis S. Drake, to take the lead. At 7:40, HMS Marlborough, under Captain Taylor Penny, led the British line and opened battle when he approached the centre of the French line. Having remained parallel with the French, the ships of Drake's division passed the remaining length of de Grasse's line and the two sides exchanged broadsides, a typical naval engagement of this time; as the battle progressed, the strong winds of the previous day and night began to temper and became more variable. As the French line passed down the British line, the sudden shift of wind let Rodney's f
Wildlife of Dominica
There are numerous species of plants and animals on the island of Dominica. Some of these are island endemics, while others are found on other Caribbean islands. More than 160 bird species have been sighted on Dominica, giving it some of the most diverse birdlife in the Eastern Caribbean. Of these, 59 species nest on the island, including two endemic and endangered parrot species; the Sisserou parrot called the imperial parrot, is Dominica's national bird and appears on the national flag. It is about 51 cm long when grown, the largest of all Amazon parrots, it has belly and a green back. The Jaco Parrot is greener overall, with bright splashes of varied colours, it is called the red-necked parrot, for the fluff of red feathers found at the throat. The island has large capaud frogs, small tree frogs, many lizards, thirteen bat species, boa constrictors that grow nearly 3m in length, four other types of snakes. Among invertebrates, there are 55 species of 55 butterfly species; the most abundant tree on the island is the gommier tree, a huge gum tree traditionally used to make dugout canoes.
Flamboyant trees are commonly found
Culture of Dominica
The culture of Dominica is formed by the inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica is home to a wide range of people. Although it was occupied by several native tribes, the Taíno and Island Caribs tribes remained by the time European settlers reached the island. "Massacre" is a name of a river dedicated to the murders of the native villagers by French and British settlers, because the river ran red with blood for days. Each claimed imported slaves from Africa; the remaining Caribs now live on a 3,700-acre Carib Territory on the east coast of the island. They elect their own chief. Dominica is seen as a society, migrating from collectivism to that of individualism; the economy is a developing one that depended on agriculture. Signs of collectivism are evident in the small villages that are spread across the island. Dominican cuisine is similar to that of other Caribbean countries. Common main courses comprise meat covered in sauce; the sauces are concoctions made from local fruit. A huge variety of local fruit, from tamarind to passion fruit, are served on the island in juice or sauce form.
Soursop is eaten raw. Sorrel, a red flower that only blooms around Christmas, is boiled into a bright red drink. Dominica draws on a mix of cultures. Names of French places appear as as English. African language and customs mingle with European traditions as part of the island's Creole culture; the Caribs still carve dugouts, build houses on stilts, weave distinctive basketwork. Rastafarian and Black pride influences are common; the Bahá'í Faith in Dominica is practiced by about 1% of the population. However, the core of Dominican culture is embedded in the European culture that of the British; this is reflected in the etiquette, mannerisms, bureaucracies and so on observed throughout the island. With an 80% Roman Catholic population and traditional values are strong. Family holds an important place in Dominican society. To a great enough extent that a government poster warning Dominicans of the dangers of transporting illegal drugs lists separation from family as the number one deterrent to the crime.
The first settlers on the island arrived to the Commonwealth of Dominica about 400 BC. The Arawak, a group of peaceful hunter-gatherers established villages after island-hopping across the Eastern-Caribbean; the more aggressive hunter-gatherers, the Caribs, annihilated the Arawaks and took hold of the island. The majority of native Caribbean people on other Caribbean islands were killed by European colonists; the local Dominican Caribbean natives were able to hide in areas that were hard for European soldiers to find. The English Queen granted a 3,700-acre territory in east coast of Dominica for the native Caribbeans in 1903. Today, there are only 3000 Caribs remaining after years of brutal treatment by the Spanish and English, they live in eight villages, they elect their own chief. On the east side of the island, the descendants of the Caribs continued to practise their time-honoured culture and crafts of canoe building and basket weaving, their society, has developed and modernised. The Amerindians' influence remains on the island through their artifacts and the sounds of modern language.
For example, the word hurricane originated from the Amerindian word huracan. When Christopher Columbus passed by the island he did give Dominica its name, but left no other settlers on the island, it would be years before French settlers came to the island. These two European superpowers fought relentlessly for the island, their cultures each took hold. However, African slaves have left an indelible mark on the island. French influences include the island's native language, Creole and many location names; the British government won the island, the influences of government as well as the official language are distinctly theirs. Africans influenced the Creole and food, as well as the distinctive local style of dress. Chanté mas and Lapo kabwit is a form of Carnival music of Dominica, it is performed by masquerading partygoers in a two-day parade, in a call-and-response format call "lavwé", with a lead female singer or "chantwèl" dancing backwards in front of the drummer on a tambou lélé. The Carnival has African and French roots and is otherwise known as Mas Dominik, the most original Carnival in the Caribbean.
Dominica's carnival is known to be the most original and least commercialized giving the carnival its name the original mas The chanté mas tradition started to become dominated by imported calypso and steel pan music in the early 1960s. After a fire in 1963, the traditional carnival was banned, though calypso and steelpan continued to grow in popularity. Calypso appealed to Carnival partygoers because the lyrical focus on local news and gossip was similar to that of chanté mas, despite a rhythmic pattern and instrumentation that contrast with traditional Dominican Mas Domnik music. Though the traditional Chanté mas and Lapo kabrit declined in popularity due to imported calypso and steel pan music, several villages on Dominica, such as Grand Bay, has preserved the unique Dominican tradition. On modern Dominica, Chanté mas and lapo kabrit has become a part of bouyon music; each year, Dominicans celebrate the Catholic Carnival, a festival held for three days before Ash Wednesday. Due to the country's French heritage, a majority of citizens are Catholic, but many non-Catholics celebrate Carnival.
Activities include the Calypso Monarch Competition, Carnival Queen Pageant, an
Belize Defence Force
The Belize Defence Force is the military of Belize, is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF is under the Ministry of Defence, headed by Hon. John Saldivar. In 2012, the Belizean government spent about $17 million on the military, constituting 1.08% of the country's gross domestic product. The military of Belize dates back to 1817, when the Prince Regent Royal Honduras Militia, a volunteer organization, was founded. Between 1817 and 1978, the military force in Belize has had ten different names: The Prince Regent's Royal Militia The Belize Volunteer Force The Belize Volunteer Corps The Belize Light Infantry Volunteer Force British Honduras Volunteers British Honduras Territorial Force British Honduras Defense Force British Honduras Home Guard British Honduras Volunteer Guard Belize Volunteer Guard The BDF was founded in 1978 following the disbanding of the Belize Volunteer Guard and the Police Special Force the year before. After Belize achieved independence in 1981 the United Kingdom maintained the deterrent British Forces Belize in the country to protect it from invasion by Guatemala.
During the 1980s this included a No. 1417 Flight RAF of Harriers. The main British force left in 1994, three years after Guatemala recognised Belizean independence, but the United Kingdom maintained a training presence via the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize and 25 Flight AAC until 2011 when the last British Forces left Ladyville Barracks, with the exception of seconded advisers; the BDF Maritime Wing became part of the Belize Coast Guard Service in November 2005. In October 2015, due to rising tensions between Belize and Guatemala and the British cutback on military bases worldwide to focus on the War On Terror in 2011, Belize asked the UK to bring BATSUB back; the BDF consists of: Three infantry battalions, each comprising three companies Three reserve companies One support group Air WingThe Belize Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff. The Belize Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.
As of 2012, there are 40 British Army personnel stationed in Belize. Mountain Pine Ridge Training Area - south of Belmopan used for jungle warfare by Belize, US, Dutch and British forces Price Barracks - Ladyville - Air Wing HQ and former British helicopter base; the Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. Belize Defence Force This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Economy of Dominica
Although the financial services industry is becoming its largest income, with bananas as the principal crop, is still Dominica's economic mainstay. Banana production employs, upwards of one-third of the work force; this sector is vulnerable to weather conditions and to external events affecting commodity prices. The value of banana exports fell to less than 25% of merchandise trade earnings in 1998 compared to about 44% in 1994. In view of the European Union's announced phase-out of preferred access of bananas to its markets, agricultural diversification is a priority. Dominica has made some progress, with the export of small quantities of citrus fruits and vegetables and the introduction of coffee, aloe vera, cut flowers, exotic fruits such as mangoes and papayas. Dominica has had some success in increasing its manufactured exports, with soap as the primary product. Dominica recently entered the offshore financial services market; because Dominica is volcanic and has few beaches, development of tourism has been slow compared with that on neighboring islands.
Dominica's high, rugged mountains, freshwater lakes, hot springs and diving spots make it an attractive destination. Cruise ship stopovers have increased following the development of modern docking and waterfront facilities in the capital. Eco-tourism is a growing industry on the island. Dominica is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union; the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank issues a common currency to all eight members of the ECCU. The ECCB manages monetary policy, regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. Dominica is a beneficiary of the U. S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, its 1996 exports to the U. S. were $7.7 million, its U. S. imports were $34 million. Dominica is a member of the 15-member Caribbean Community and of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States; the Commonwealth of Dominica has become in recent years a major international financial hub, is becoming one of the largest banking centres in the world, offshore services are becoming its main source of income.
There are a number of service providers. These include global financial institutions including Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, Cathedral Investment Bank, First Caribbean International Bank, The Interoceanic Bank of the Caribbean. Regulation and supervision of the financial services industry is the responsibility of the Financial Service Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance. Starting in the mid-late 1990s, offshore financial centres, such as the Commonwealth of Dominica, came under increasing pressure from the OECD for their harmful tax regimes, where the OECD wished to prevent low-tax regimes from having an advantage in the global marketplace; the OECD threatened to place the Commonwealth of Dominica and other financial centres on a "black list" and impose sanctions against them. However, the Commonwealth of Dominica avoided being placed on the OECD black list by committing to regulatory reform to improve transparency and begin information exchange with OECD member countries about their citizens.
About 22.6% of the total land area is arable. Agricultural production was on the decline before the 1979 hurricane disaster; the main crop of Dominica is bananas, output of which had fallen to 29,700 tons in 1978. As a result of Hurricane David, production hit a low of 15,700 tons in 1979. Agriculture suffered a further blow from Hurricane Allen in August 1980. However, after outside financial support began to rehabilitate the sector, production rose to 27,800 tons in 1981 and totaled 30,000 tons in 1999. Agriculture employs about 40 % of the labor force. Agricultural exports amounted to $19.1 million in 2001. Most crops are produced on small farms, the 9,000 owners of which are banded together in about 10 cooperatives. Other major crops are citrus fruits which are grown in commercial quantities. Production for 1999 included 11,000 tons. Fruits and vegetables are produced for local consumption. There are about 2,000 hectares of pasture land, comprising 2.7% of the total land area. The island does not produce sufficient meat, poultry, or eggs for local consumption so there are large imports of animal products.
In 2001 there were an estimated 540 head of cattle, 9,700 goats, 7,600 sheep, 5,000 hogs. In 2001, production of meat totaled 1,300 tons. Before Hurricane David, some 2,000 persons earned a living fishing in coastal waters, producing about 1,000 tons of fish a year and meeting only about one-third of the local demand; the hurricane destroyed all of the island's 470 fishing boats. In 2000, the catch was 1,150 tons, up from 552 tons in 1991. There is a large fishing industry in Dominica, but it is not modernized and exclusively serves the domestic market. A successful experiment in fresh-water prawn farming, supported by Taiwanese aid, has produced substantial amounts of prawns for the domestic and local markets. Japan has provided support for a fish processing plant in Roseau. Dominica has the potential for a lumber industry; some 46,000 hectares are classified as forest, representing 61% of the total land