Bahamas Moves Forward on Gun Point Base, Planning More Security Outposts

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 20, 2012

Above: Gun Point Island

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Bahamas’ new Gun Point base, which is currently under development, should be operational this year, according to National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest.

The base, which will be located on Ragged Island, aims to help the Royal Bahamas Defence Force maintain a constant presence in the Great Bahama Bank area, one of the country’s “richest fishing grounds,” Turnquest said.

“The Force’s decentralisation strategy demands an increase in its human capital and operational assets,” Turnquest said. “The government of the Bahamas will continue to invest in the personnel and assets of the Defence Force. We will continue to focus on local and international military training in the areas of leadership and management, as well as professional and technical skills development.”

The construction of the harbour is nearing completion, the Minister said, and will have the capacity to accommodate the Defence Force’s 200-foot patrol craft, along with mail boats.

The Base Facility will be able to accommodate up to 35 marines.

Turnquest said the decentralisation of the force remained a primary focus for the government, which plans to develop bases in Grand Bahama and Inagua, along with sub-bases in Abaco and Exuma.

“These bases allow the realisation of the Defence Force’s aim to maintain a continuous presence at strategic choke-points throughout our archipelago,” he said. “They act as a deterrent and enhance our capacity to apprehend those who seek to violate our laws and diminish our prospects for peace and prosperity.”

Given the Bahamas’ nature as an archipelago, it makes managing its borders and protecting its shores that much more difficult.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, [the Force] has continued to patrol the waters of the Bahamas to deter and apprehend illegal migrants, as well as foreign poachers of our marine resources, and those engaged in drug trafficking and illegal firearms smuggling,” Turnquest said.

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