Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2016. 4:50 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Defence Force’s Air Wing is busy learning the use of the two helicopters obtained in different circumstances in recent times.
Two Hueys from Taiwan and a Bell ‘copter abandoned in Orange Walk form the basis of the helicopter corps and the pilots are in training with local organization Belize Aviation, which previously provided private service to the Government after the British Training and Support Unit (BATSUB) left Belize in 2012.
Helicopters are vital to maintaining contact with remote jungle outposts from which the BDF patrol the border and key installations countrywide and can also be used for search and rescue and emergencies.
Training, which will last for one year and follows U.S. Army guidelines, includes how to service and repair the helicopters.
Already they have been put to use, as during Hurricane Earl soldiers were successfully extracted from the Chiquibul.
Of course, the Government saves about 33 thousand dollars per flight from having its own fleet as opposed to paying private companies.
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