Jamaica Defence Force
|Jamaica Defence Force|
Jamaica Defence Force badge
|Headquarters||Up Park Camp, Kingston, Jamaica|
|Minister of Defence||Andrew Holness|
|Chief of Defence Staff||Major General Rocky R. Meade|
|Military age||16 years of age for selection process, 17 years of age is actual serving age (as of 2007)|
|747,043 males, age 16–49 (2005 est.)|
|523,550 males, age 16–49 (2005 est.)|
|27,729 males (2005 est.)|
|Budget||$31,170,000 (ranked 141st)|
|Percent of GDP||0.6%(2007)|
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is the combined military of Jamaica, consisting of an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The JDF is based upon the British military model, with similar organisation, training, weapons and traditions. Once chosen, officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending upon the arm of service. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot Newcastle. As on the British model, NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in WWII. The West India Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation. The dissolution of the Federation resulted in the establishment of the JDF.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard element is divided between seagoing crews and support crews. It conducts maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The support battalion contains a Military Police platoon as well as vehicle, armourers and supply units. The 1st Engineer Regiment provides military engineering support to the JDF. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF commander, command staff as well as intelligence, judge advocate office, administrative and procurement sections.
In recent years the JDF has been called upon to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an opposition leader, Edward Seaga, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This move did not garner support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.
Major units of the Jamaica Defence Force
- Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force (HQ JDF) - divided into the Operations Branch and Adjutant Quartermaster's Branch, this is the main command of the entire JDF.
- Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force Intelligence Unit (HQ JDF Int)- provides intelligence to the JDF and The Jamaica Constabulary Force. (Despite its name this is not a sub-unit of JDF HQ, as it was given full unit status in 1983 and is headed by a Lt. Colonel.)
- 1st Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (1JR) - raised in 1962, one of the two light infantry battalions comprising the main formation of the JDF.
- 2nd Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (2JR) - raised in 1979, second of the two light infantry battalions comprising the main formation of the JDF.
- 3rd Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve) (3JR) (NR) - this is a volunteer infantry battalion.
- 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) - this unit provides engineering support to all units of the JDF.
- Support and Services Battalion (Sp Svcs Bn)- this unit provides logistic and administrative support, and is divided into the following units:
- JDF Air Wing (JDF AW) - this provides air support for the infantry, and surveillance and maritime patrol, which is used in anti-drug missions.
- JDF Coast Guard (JDF CG) - this is the naval arm of the JDF, and has responsibility for maritime law enforcement and maritime safety.
- JDF Combat Support Battalion (JDF Cbt Sp Bn) - this unit will perform an essential role as a force multiplier and it will ensure the operational readiness of the Force by facilitating essential competence training.
- Directorate of Training and Doctrine Battalion - the new Battalion will streamline training programmes delivered by the JDF’s five Centres of Excellence.
JDF Chiefs of Staff
Chiefs of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (1962–2007)
|1962–1965||Brigadier Paul Edwin Crook, CBE, DSO|
|1965–1973||Brigadier David Hartman Smith, CVO, OBE, ED|
|1973||Brigadier Dunstan Fitzgerald Robinson, CD, OBE, ED|
|1973–1979||Major General Rudolph Edward George Green, CD, OStJ|
|1979–1990||Major General Robert James Neish, CD, AFC|
|1990–1998||Rear Admiral Peter Lorenzo Brady, CD, CVO, MMM|
|1998–2002||Major General John I Simmonds, CVO, OD|
|2002–2007||Rear Admiral Hardley M Lewin, CD, ADC, JP, psc (n)|
|2007||Major General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, ADC, MSc, JP, psc|
In December 2007 the title of Chief of Staff was replaced by Chief of Defence Staff and filled by incumbent.
Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)
|2008–2010||Major General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, JP, ADC, MSc, psc|
|2010-2017||Major General Antony Bertram Anderson, OD, JP, MDA, BEng (Hons), psc|
|2017-||Major General Rocky R. Meade, OD, JP, PhD, MMAS, MA, BA (Hons), psc|
The JDF also supports two military bands;
- Jamaica Military Band - this is the band that is descended from the band of the West India Regiment, and was formed in February 1927. It is one of only two units in the world (the other being the Band of the Barbados Regiment) that wears the uniform of the zouaves.
- Jamaica Regiment Band - this band was originally formed as the Band of the West India Regiment formed in 1959 as the military force of the Federation of the West Indies. With the Federation's break up and the independence of Jamaica, it became the Band of the 1st Battalion, Jamaica Regiment. It gained its current name with the formation of the 2nd Battalion in 1979.
JDF Air Wing
|Beechcraft King Air||United States||maritime patrol||1 on order|
|Bell 407||United States||utility / patrol||3|
|Bell 412||United States||utility / SAR||2||1 on order|
|Bell 429||United States||utility / SAR||3 on order|
|Diamond DA40||Canada||basic trainer||DA40 FP||2|
|Diamond DA40||Canada||basic trainer||DA40 CS||4|
|Diamond DA42||Canada||multi-engine trainer||DA42 NG||2|
|Bell 206||United States||trainer||Bell 206||2||2 on order|
On July 1, 2009 a Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing Bell 412EP helicopter was on its way back to Up Park Camp from a training mission when it began experiencing mechanical issues. The helicopter crashed into the ground at Up Park Camp, injuring the captain, his co-pilot and a crew member.
JDF Coast Guard
A year after the JDF was formed in 1962, a naval arm, the Jamaica Sea Squadron was added. The squadron’s initial vessels were three 63ft wooden World War II torpedo recovery boats provided by the United States. They were commissioned “Her Majesty’s Jamaican Ship” HMJS Yoruba (P1), HMJS Coromante (P2) and HMJS Mandingo (P3). A training team from the Royal Navy assisted with the unit’s early development. In 1966 they changed names from the Jamaica Sea Squadron to the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard.
|HMJS Cornwall||Netherlands||patrol vessel||1||County-class|
|HMJS Middlesex||Netherlands||patrol vessel||1||County-class|
|HMJS Fort Charles||United States||patrol boat||1|
|HMJS Paul Bogle||United States||patrol boat||1|
|Boston Whaler||United States||interceptor||2||37 foot Justice model|
Ranks of the JDF
|JDF Coast Guard||Other Units|
|Rear Admiral||Major General|
|Sub Lieutenant||2nd Lieutenant|
|JDF Coast Guard||Other Units|
|Master Chief Petty Officer I||Warrant Officer 1|
|Master Chief Petty Officer II||Warrant Officer Class 2|
|Chief Petty Officer||Colour Sergeant / Staff Sergeant|
|Able Seaman||Lance Corporal|
Besides inhouse training, the JDF has been trained by members of the Canadian Forces to deal with special needs.
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The Jamaica Defence Force is a brigade-sized unit comprising land, sea and air formations and is possibly the largest military establishment within the English-speaking Caribbean.
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The military budget is 48 million dollars (2001).
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Major General Rocky Meade is Jamaica's 3rd Chief of Defence Staff and 11th Head of the JDF. He assumed the role on December 1, 2016.
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The Sea Squadron was renamed the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (JDF CG) in 1966 and the naval White Ensign, naval rank insignia and Royal Navy - patterned uniforms were adopted.
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