Secure Seas Deal
Grenada and the US have signed a new deal under the “Secure Seas” agreement.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and US Charge’ d’ Affaires, Bernard Link, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides the island with a Maritime Support Package consisting of two ten-meter interceptor vessels, including spare parts; one vehicle; one trailer; information systems; and command, control and communication equipment.
The package comes under the Secure Seas Program, which provides the initial training required to use the Maritime Support Package. Training includes outboard engine repair; small boat repair; basic shipboard maintenance; boat handling; and basic tactics. The government of the United States may also provide continuing or advanced education.
“The Government of Grenada intends to retain all trained personnel at selected homeports for at least two years from the date the initial training is complete. Additionally, the Government of Grenada intends to develop an internal program to train replacement mechanics and boat crew members in order to ensure uninterrupted operational readiness of the Government of Grenada,” the memorandum said.
Prime Minister Thomas expressed his appreciation to the government of the United States for the assistance, noting that the region, already struggling with the effects of a global recession, now has to strengthen the financing of its security, amid the withdrawal of British support ships and personnel.
“We appreciate the assistance of the United States and we are seeking ways of deepening the relationship with your country, given our shared values and our commitment to the democratic process,” the Prime Minister told Link.
The Prime Minister said Grenada and the region were being used as trans-shipment points for illegal drugs and other forms of illegal activity between the producers of drugs in South America and the consumers in the North.
While a date has not been set for the arrival of the vessels, the Grenada government said that it is looking forward to “this valuable resource” in the protection of the island’s coastlines and bays.