Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 26, 2012 17:00 ET

Minister of National Defence and Jamaican Minister of National Security Sign Memorandum of Understanding

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, began a two-day visit to Jamaica to meet with his Jamaican counterpart, the Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, and to build on the long-standing defence relationship between Jamaica and Canada. During his visit today, Minister MacKay officially signed the Canada-Jamaica Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), establishing the framework for the development of an Operational Support Hub in Jamaica in the near future.

"I am pleased to have had this opportunity to meet with Minister Bunting early on in his tenure and to build upon the longstanding and excellent defence relationship between our two countries. I was also pleased to continue my dialogue with the Jamaica Defence Force's Chief of Defence, Major-General Antony Anderson," said Minister MacKay. "Jamaica is a very important regional partner for Canada and we are pleased that this agreement has been reached for the mutual benefit of our respective countries," added Minister MacKay.

With the signature of the MOU, Canada now has pre-authorized arrangements with the Government of Jamaica to access existing airport, seaport, and other logistics support facilities in Jamaica. Once directed by the Government of Canada to respond to a crisis in the region, and with the consent of the Government of Jamaica, the Canadian Forces can activate the Operational Support Hub in Jamaica to enable a rapid and efficient Canadian and Canadian Forces response - potentially saving lives, and providing safety and security. The MOU outlines the procedures that will be followed to activate and operate the Operational Support Hub when required.

While in Jamaica, Minister MacKay also toured the Canadian-funded infrastructure at Up Park Camp, which includes the Joint Information and Operations Centre (JIOC), the foreign student accommodations for the Jamaican Military Aviation School (JMAS), which Canada has been instrumental in establishing, and the location of the future facilities that will be used for aviation deployments and training. Minister MacKay's trip to Jamaica concludes tomorrow.

Note to the Editor/News Director: For more info on the Operational Support Hub in Jamaica, please consult the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4285

Contact Information