This article first
appeared in the Stabroek
Saturday, June 2, 2001
Photos Rodney Patton, Esq.
has paid the United States US$415,243 (around $77M) for four 44-ft
motor lifeboats to aid in fishery protection and conduct anti-drug
operations among other coast guard duties.
- The vessels are due to arrive here by
- The boats will be transported from
Ilwaco, Washington, where they are dry-docked, to Guyana
at no cost to the Guyana government. The transportation
cost, land and sea, has been valued by the US government
at US$790,000. The US Army Southern Command is providing
the sealift portion of this figure, valued at an
estimated US$500,000, free. Under the agreement, through
which the boats are being provided at below their
US$480,000 value, the US government will also supply, at
no additional cost, a communication package, spares, tool
kits, paint, supplies and two trailers valued at
US$47,000. Refurbishing is also part of this
- The US government will provide
training in the operation of the vessels for Guyana
Defence Force Coast Guard personnel in Guyana as well as
engineer training in the US and Guyana.
- It will also provide assistance in
refurbishing the boats in Guyana.
- Before being taken out of service two
years ago, the 44-ft motor lifeboats were the US Coast
Guard's standard heavy weather and search and rescue
Guyana, together with the converted minesweeper, the HMS Orwell acquired
from the United Kingdom and due here late August, the motor lifeboats
will be used for search and rescue missions, anti-piracy and counter
drug operations, port security, and fishery protection.
- Earlier this year, Guyana joined
several of its CARICOM partners, including Suriname,
Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago when it
concluded a maritime law enforcement pact with the USA.
The agreement was in negotiation for about two years
before an understanding was reached on wording that was
- Since the government announced
additional budgetary allocations of $540 million for last
year and this year, the GDF declared its intention to
acquire the motor lifeboats and the HMS Orwell as well as
a Y-12 light aircraft manufactured in the People's
Republic of China from the China National Aero-Technology
Import & Export Corporation (CATIC). The aircraft can
seat 19 and has a cargo capacity of 1,700 kilogrammes
(3,748 lbs). The engine of the aircraft was manufactured
in Canada and the avionics in the United States of
- At the signing of the memorandum of
understanding on the sale, GDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier
Michael Atherly said that the acquisition of the aircraft
would improve the GDF's capability to move cargo and
passengers around Guyana as well as improve its maritime
its promotional flights to a number of South American countries, the
Y-12 has been sitting in a hangar at the GDF's Air Corps Timehri base.
Stabroek News understands that it cannot be put into use until the
Guyana government has deposited some part of the purchase price.
- When in operation, it will join the
Air Corps' fleet of three planes, which were refurbished
from the additional allocations provided by the
- The recapitalisation of the army has
proceeded with urgency since the armed eviction last year
by Surinamese gunboats of an oil rig from Guyana's
My thanks go to Stabroek
News, for allowing me
to use this material.
If you would like to read more about these boats please