Head of the Belize Coast Guard, Elton Bennett resumes command

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

The commandant of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG), Captain Elton Bennett, returned to his office after successfully undertaking a year of study at the Royal College of Defence Studies in England. Bennett left Belize in July 2020, and during his absence commander Gregory Soberani, along with San Pedro’s Almita Pinelo, took the reins of the BCG.

The studies are a vital component for Bennett’s professional military education at strategic levels which further enhance his capacity to contribute to the defense and security of Belize. On his return, the commander emphasized his focus on strengthening regional partnerships. Bennett looks forward to expanding relations with Guatemala and Honduras. Regarding Honduras, he said that Belize has never tried to build such ties and that it is something he wants to move forward with. He expects some legal framework to be created so they can start engaging their Honduran counterparts.

One of BCG’s close allies is and continues to be the United States Southern Command (US SOUTHCOM). “It’s crucial for the development of Belize’s security forces and the Belize Coast Guard,” said Bennett. US SOUTHCOM is regarded as being very instrumental in the creation of the BCG. They assisted with infrastructure, training, and capacity development. The relationship with their US counterparts is expected to continue growing and getting stronger.

The BCG has also made contact with the recently installed Cayman Coast Guard. Bennett said they are already planning mutual communication exercises and exchange information as soon as this is formalized through a legal framework. With the ongoing pandemic and the growing problem with illegal activities at sea with drug trafficking and unregulated fishing, Elton Bennett believes they need to project beyond Belize’s territorial seas. This is one way to combat those challenges that the country faces as a significant maritime nation.


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