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The Changing Roles of the Barbados Regiment Between 1979 and 1999

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A thesis presented on The Changing Roles of the Barbados Regiment between 1979 and 1999, beginning with the history of the Barbados Regiment, the end of the era of the old Barbados Regiment, the new era of the Barbados Defence Force.


Acknowledgements iii

Glossary iv

Introduction 1

Chapter I: The Barbados Regiment 2

History of the Barbados Regiment 2

The Band of the Barbados Regiment 4

Chapter II: The End of an Era 6

Chapter III: The Era of Barbados Defence Force 7

Chapter IV: The Royal Barbados Police Force 13

Chapter V: Eastern Caribbean security concerns 15

Drugs are the Primary treat in the region 18

Chapter VI: Relations with the United States 21

Caribbean Basin Imitative 23


Chapter VII: Barbados' involvement in the Regional Security System: 27

Chapter VIII: Tourism affect on Barbadian society 34

Chapter IX: Roles of the Barbados RÐ"©giment 36

Chapter X: The changes in the roles of the Barbados Regiment 43

Bibliography 45


Fiscal year (FY)

The fiscal year varies throughout the Commonwealth Caribbean. For example, in Anguilla, the Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands the fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year, whereas in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Montserrat the fiscal year covers the period April 1-March 31, and in Dominica the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. In this volume, however, fiscal year, when used, refers to the United States fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30.

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

A regional body founded in 1981 by the seven former members of the West Indies States Association (WISA), which had been created in 1966. Original members were Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The British Virgin Islands later became an associate member. Headquartered in Castries, St. Lucia, the OECS is designed to coordinate economic, foreign policy, and defence matters among its members and to facilitate their relations with various international organizations. The OECS is an associate institution of the Caribbean Community and Common Market and oversees cooperation of its members in several Eastern Caribbean institutions: the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority, the Eastern Caribbean Common Market, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and the Eastern Caribbean States Supreme Court. The primary administrative organs of the OECS are the Authority of Heads of Government (the supreme policy-making body), the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Defence and Security Committee, and the Economic Affairs Committee. After the 1983 coup in Grenada, the OECS members jointly requested United States military intervention on that island. Four OECS members (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) joined with Barbados in October 1982 in signing the Memorandum of Understanding Relating to Security and Military Cooperation, which formed the basis for the creation of the Regional Security System (RSS).

Special Services Unit (SSU).

Each Police Force has a paramilitary unit know as the Special Services Unit (SSU). In Barbados, it is known as the Task Force and in Antigua and Barbuda, as the Special Patrol Group.


With the end of the cold war and the reduction of external threats to Barbados, the role of the Barbados Regiment has evolved to encompass training for joint land and maritime operations, disaster relief, search and rescue, anti-drug operations and of more recent times, antiÐ'-terrorism and intelligence gathering and sharing.

The threat of external aggression or destabilization, once seen as a problem, is now almost non-existent and Barbados is no longer concerned with the threat of external military aggression from any of its neighbours, but rather with the more pervasive influence of nacre-trafficking, terrorism, crime and their consequential impact on civil society. The increase in crime is aggravated by the influx of criminal deportees from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and other developed countries and by the availability of illegal firearms. Within this new paradigm, the primary purpose of the Barbados Regiment remains the security and stability of Barbados.

Chapter 1

The Barbados Regiment

The Barbados Regiment is the land force component of the Barbados Defence Force. Its main tasks are the defence of Barbados from external threats, internal security and assisting the local police in maintaining law and order. The regiment also provides Barbados' contribution to international peacekeeping and other missions. In its present form, the regiment was formed in 1979 along with the BDF, replacing the old Barbados Regiment. The Barbados Regiment was affiliated to the Royal Anglican Regiment.

History of the Barbados Regiment

The Barbados Regiment was founded in 1902 as the Barbados Volunteer Force, a volunteer unit raised to provide for the local defence of the island following the withdrawal of the closure of the British garrison. Soldiers of the BVF were involved in both the First and Second World Wars as part of both the South Caribbean Force and the Caribbean Regiment.

In 1948, the BVF was re-established and re-named the Barbados Regiment. The regiment received its first stand of colours



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