The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is steadily improving its human and technical resources, and part of its efforts include bolstering academic training and accreditation through local and international partnerships.
Last Tuesday, the military signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The University of the West Indies that is expected to standardise military training and educational courses, as well as expand the JDF Centres of Excellence model regionally.
According to chief of defence staff, Lt Gen Rocky Meade, the MOU is a huge step for the JDF as part of its plans towards achieving Jamaica’s Vision 2030 development initiative.
“It gives us the opportunity to certify in partnership with an accredited university that has world-class standards and to grow the idea of security training,” said Meade at a special ceremony put on at the Caribbean Military Academy (CMA) at Up Park Camp in Kingston.
“We have a 20-year perspective where we want to see us as a regional entity, the military equivalent of the University of the West Indies which is actually delivering training to the world,” explained Meade.
“So my headspace is already beyond providing training for the JDF and the Jamaican security industry. I want to see a regional entity delivering training worldwide,” emphasised Meade.
Minister of National Security Horace Chang welcomed the initiative.
“The CMA provides training for all levels within the military and, interestingly, has become a centre for training officers and junior officers for small-island states and countries,” said Chang.
“What the army is demonstrating is a level of relevance and a vision for the training of young people which maybe other institutions haven’t really caught up with as yet. They are demonstrating a pioneer activity, and this is just taking their training to another level where they will be able to offer degrees here in specialised areas,” said Chang.