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Personnel of the Jamaica Defence Force in dress uniform, during a light rain, at Palisadeos Air Port, Kingston.
Roundel of Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing


The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is the overall name given to the combined military forces of Jamaicamarker.

The JDF is based upon the British military model with organisation, training, weapons and traditions closely aligned with Commonwealth Realm countries. Once chosen officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending upon which arm of service they are slated for. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot Newcastle. As on the British model NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for specialty training in Canadamarker, the United Statesmarker, and the United Kingdommarker.

History

Soldiers from the JDF during the Tradewinds 2002 Field Training Exercise, on the island of Antigua.
The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in WWII. The West India Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation. The dissolution of the Federation resulted in the establishment of the JDF.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard element is divided between sea-going crews and support crews. It conducts maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The support battalion contains a Military Police platoon as well as vehicle, armourers and supply units. The 1st Engineer Regiment provides military engineering support to the JDF. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF commander, command staff as well as intelligence, judge advocate office, administrative and procurement sections.

In recent years the JDF has been called upon to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an opposition leader, Edward Seaga, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This move has not garnered support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.

Major Units of the Jamaica Defence Force



Army Equipment

Jamaican army equipment
Armoured Personnel Carriers 13 Cadillac Gage Commando V-150
Artillery pieces and mortar 12 L16A1 81mm mortars, 2-inch mortars
Transport Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford LN7000 trucks, Ford L8501 trucks, Toyota Dyna trucks.
Small Arms FN FAL assault rifle, SA80 assault rifle, Sterling submachine gun, M79 Grenade Launcher, General purpose machine gun, Browning GP35 pistol.


Past Chiefs of Staff of The Jamaica Defence Force (1962 - 2007)

1962 - 1965 Brigadier Paul Edwin Crook, CBE, DSO
1965 - 1973 Brigadier David Hartman Smith, CVO, OBE, ED
1973 Brigadier Dunstan Fitzgerald Robinson, CD, OBE, ED
1973 - 1979 Major-General Rudolph Edward George Green, CD, OStJ
1979 - 1990 Major-General Robert James Neish, CD, AFC
1990 - 1998 Rear-Admiral Peter Lorenzo Brady, CD, CVO, MMM
1998 - 2002 Major-General John I Simmonds, CVO, OD
2002 - 2007 Rear-Admiral Hardley M Lewin, CD, ADC, JP, psc (n)
2007 Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, ADC, MSc, JP, psc
In December 2007 the title of Chief of Staff was replaced by Chief of Defence Staff and filled by incumbent.

Chiefs of Defence Staff of The Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)

2008 - Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, JP, ADC, MSc, psc


Bands

The JDF also supports two military bands;

  • Jamaica Military Band - this is the band that is descended from the band of the West India Regiment, and was formed in February 1927. It is one of only two units in the world (the other being the Band of the Barbados Regiment) that wears the uniform of the zouaves.


  • Jamaica Regiment Band - this band was originally formed as the Band of the West India Regiment formed in 1959 as the military force of the Federation of the West Indies. With the Federation's break up and the independence of Jamaica, it became the Band of the 1st Battalion, Jamaica Regiment. It gained its current name with the formation of the 2nd Battalion in 1979.


JDF Coast Guard

Ships in Active Service
Name of Ship Length Max speed Crew/Capacity Class
HMJS Cornwall 42.8 m 26 knots 12 + 4 County
HMJS Middlesex 42.8 m 26 knots 12 + 4 County
HMJS Surrey 42.8 m 26 knots 12 + 4 County
HMJS Paul Bogle 32.3 m 30 knots 17 Hero
HMJS Fort Charles 35.3 m 32 knots 16 Fort


Retired Ships of the JDF Coast Guard

HMJS Yoruba

HMJS Coromante

HMJS Mandingo

HMJS Discovery Bay

HMJS Holland Bay

HMJS Manatee Bay

JDF Air Wing

This is a list of currently-active military aircraft in use:



Obsolete Aircraft

  • Bell 47G Sioux - Two helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1963 to 1964.
  • Bell 212 Twin Huey - Three helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1973 to 1999.
  • Bell 222UT - One helicopter used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1986 to 1988.
  • Bell UH-1H Iroquois - Four helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1989 to 1998.
  • Beech B60 Duke - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
  • Beechcraft King Air A100 - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
  • Cessna 185 Skywagon - Four aircraft used by the 1st Fligth, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1963 to 1985.
  • De Havilland Canada Twin Otter - Two aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narotics duties. In service from 1967 to 1980.


JDF Air Wing Incidents

On July 1, 2009 a Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing Bell 412EP helicopter was on its way back to Up Park Camp from a training mission when it began experiencing mechanical issues. The helicopter crashed into the ground at Up Park Camp, injuring the captain, his co-pilot and a crew member.[99010]

Ranks of the Jamaica Defence Force

Commissioned Officers

Enlisted Ranks

References



External links



Aircraft
Origin
Type
Versions
In service
Notes
Bell 407 / Support Helicopter 407 4 In service since 2007
Bell 412 / Support Helicopter 412EP 2 In service since 1998. 2nd Flight
Britten Norman Islander Light Transport BN-2A 1 In service since 1974. 1st Flight
Cessna 210 Centurion Light Transport 210M 1 In service since 1983. 1st Flight
Diamond DA40 Trainer DA40-F 2 In service since 2006. Jamaica Military Training School
Bell 206 Jet Ranger / Trainer 206 1 In service since 1971. Jamaica Military Training School
Eurocopter Squirrel Support Helicopter AS355N 4 In service since 1999. 3rd Flight
JDF Coast Guard
Other Units
Rear Admiral
Major General
Commodore
Brigadier
Captain (N)
Colonel
Commander
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Commander
Major
Lieutenant (sg)
Captain
Lieutenant (jg)
Lieutenant
Sub Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
JDF Coast Guard
Other Units
Master Chief Petty Officer I
Warrant Officer 1
Master Chief Petty Officer II
Warrant Officer Class 2
Chief Petty Officer
Colour / Staff Sergeant
Petty Officer
Sergeant
Leading Seaman
Corporal
Able Seaman
Lance Corporal
Ordinary Seaman
Private

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