St. Kitts Defence Force to become better equipped through education drive
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force plays a vital role in society and the men and women within the organization must be well qualified for such a role, said its commander, Lt. Col. J. Anthony Comrie, while appearing April 4 on “Working for You.”
The qualification of the men and women in the defence force is important, said the commander, adding that education is the key to the success of the organization.
“We at the defence force see education as a precursor to excellence; 80 percent of the officers at least have a first degree – my intention is to build on that,” he said. “We have an arrangement with the premier tertiary institution in St. Kitts, the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), to have at least two scholarships provided annually and we are taking advantage of those.”
The University of the West Indies (UWI) has a national security programme that officers can take advantage of, said the commander.
“It is my intention to take advantage of the national security programme that UWI offers at the Mona Campus and, hopefully, that is going to start from this September,” he added. “As I said before, education is a precursor for excellence and for advancement in the organization; because of our size, we have to make sure we have qualified [people] and we get qualified [people] through education.”
Comrie, who recently assumed the post of commander, said that his vision is to make the defence force “the best little professional organization in the world. I know that may sound like a humongous task, but I believe I have the men and women who are very reliable and capable of having the defence force move in that direction,” said the commander.
Comrie explained that the role of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force first and foremost is the defence of the nation, and any other duties that the Defence Force Board may be given from time to time. He added that the role of the defence force has for some time been misunderstood, particularly with the emerging responsibilities and current international, regional and local threats to the nation’s security.
“Our role sometimes is distinct, but must remain so, but where they overlap, our fullest support and expertise will be brought to bear,” he said. “We have played – and continue to play – a critical role in nation development and therefore there is no doubt that the security of the state is intertwined with the economic development. To this regard, our support of the police will be unwavering.”