Speech by the Prime Minister

Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Training Battalion at Up Park Camp



The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP

at the

Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Training Battalion,

Up Park Camp

June 14, 2017


It is with great pleasure that I’m here today to open this facility. This 55th year anniversary of Jamaica’s independence is a milestone which should cause us to pause and reflect on our achievements; yes some setbacks but also our great partnerships.


In an uncertain and ever-changing environment the Jamaica- Canada friendship partnership has persevered on many levels with shared interests manifested in numerous trade and security agreements. It is this enduring security partnership that sees us here today at what is the Capstone Center of Excellence Project, the directorate of training and doctrine- I won’t use the acronyms.


The Jamaica Defence Force stands as one of Jamaica’s most robust institutions not only for its traditions, facilities and structures but also in its professionalism and positive impact on the society at large.


The JDF has had a long standing partnership with education as it has since its inception sought not only to enhance the lives of the men and women in its ranks but also their families and through various outreach programs the wider society through schools, youth groups and other organisations.


Through its various programmes, the JDF has sought in partnership with the ministry of education and other arms of government to enhance the training and certification available to its personnel in order to ensure that they are at established international standards. This has led to a long standing and ongoing partnership with the Heart Trust NTA and HEART – by the way is an acronym – to certify JDF trades to NCTVET another acronym and standards.


This standardization process has been enhanced with the development of the JDF Centers of Excellence through a sterling partnership with the Canadian government. These centers of excellence have seen not only the ongoing certification and standardization of JDF regional and international military personnel but also the police, fire and correctional officers and other civil organisations including the commissioner you’ve just told me.


This one of a kind, state of the art facility represents the pinnacle of several other projects completed through this partnership aimed at building capacity and providing world class training for local regional and international allies.


The progress in this partnership that this center represents will see not only the ongoing development of our international partnerships but also serve to enhance the government’s efforts to positively impact the nation’s youth as we strive to continue in our growth and development efforts.


The directorate of training and doctrine will bring even more efficiency to the development and conduct of training being done by the JDF by streamlining the administrative and operational requirements. With this organisation the JDF will for the first time be able to develop and encode its own doctrine based on best practices of its partners as well as on its own lessons learnt which will then be translated to training serials for applications in the field.


This center aligns with the government’s vision that world class standards need to be maintained right here in Jamaica and it would also ensure that key defence bilateral partnerships are cultivated and enhanced.


This center allows the force to earn critical capital for the delivery of world class courses to partners from not only the Caribbean but across the globe that would help to sustain continued efforts and also aid in the government’s programme of effective fiscal prudence and responsibility.


It is believed that this directorate and its subordinate centers of excellence with their new technological based approaches to training development and evaluation, will ensure that the JDF regional and international military partners and the local affiliated organisations remain at the forefront of our collective efforts to provide personnel of the highest calibre to tackle the common threats that we face as a region, hemisphere and indeed the world.


I would like to commend the JDF, its leadership and all who contributed to building this center which reflects the hallmark of quality in everything we do. I would especially like to thank the government of Canada for having the confidence to continue to invest in Jamaica. It has been a mutually rewarding endeavour and I look forward to the continued partnership as we secure Jamaica as the place of choice to live, work, raise families, do business and retire in paradise.


Thank you.