Jamaica sent a contingent of 120 Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers departed the island last weekend, “to provide recovery and humanitarian support” in the wake of catastrophic devastation in the Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

According to the report published by the Jamaica Observer, “they were accompanied by 11 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which provided airlift support”.

“Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who met with the troops at the Norman Manley International Airport ahead of the departure, expressed gratitude to the Canadian Government for facilitating the deployment of the JDF Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to The Bahamas.

“This is now the second time that the Governments of Jamaica and Canada and the defence forces of both countries have worked together to provide airlift for the Disaster Assistance Response Team,” he said, noting the airlift support provided for the deployment of the JDF to Dominica in the aftermath of a hurricane in 2017,” the report said.

“The prime minister said that the JDF is prepared to assist in any area that The Bahamian Government may require but in the initial stages, the focus will be on recovery, search and rescue, logistics, medical assistance and any emergency engineering needs.

“So far, what we have seen is that in the initial stages there will be need for recovery assistance because the damage was so extensive; there will be need for logistics assistance as well.”

The report added that “the Government of Jamaica is considering other ways of supporting the people of The Bahamas, noting that he has been in close contact with the country’s Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis”.
Captain Kyle Ferguson of the Royal Canadian Air Force (second left) discusses with Captain Wayne Barrett of the Jamaica Defence Force (right), the state of preparations for the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) deployment to the Bahamas – Photos JDF Facebook Page