GDF strengthens aviation support with Islanders

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– A demonstration of government’s commitment – Min. Harmon

 DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 9, 2018

The acquisition of two Britten-Norman Islanders for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to strengthening the Force’s aviation resources to carry out its mandate Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said.

Minister Harmon was speaking at the commissioning of the aircraft today at Air Station London, Timehri. The planes arrived in Guyana yesterday.

“The Government of Guyana will not hesitate to provide the support necessary to ensure our men and women in uniform are fully equipped to uphold the constitution and to protect Guyana from within and without,” Minister Harmon said.

Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Patrick West, says the aircraft are part of the GDF’s efforts to recapitalise the Air Corps. “Through our collective efforts we can boast of having a refurbished hanger … and having our Air Corps being re-certified as an AMO [Approved Maintenance Organisation],” Brigadier West explained.

The Islanders are expected to be used in search and rescue operations, evacuations, troop transport and tactical observation. They will also be used to conduct surveillance throughout Guyana including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Commanding Officer of the Air Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Courtney Byrne explained.

By the end of the year, the Air Corps will strengthen its fixed-wing fleet with the addition of two Sky vans. In 2019, the GDF will also seek to acquire four brand new helicopters and one unmanned aerial vehicle as part of its recapitalisation.

By: Tiffny Rhodius

Images: Jameel Mohamed