Commodore Errington Shurland, Chief of Staff, induction into the USA CSGC International Hall of Fame

Media Release: BDF Media and Communications| 31 October 2023

The Chief of Staff, Commodore Errington Shurland was inducted into the United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) International Hall of Fame, for his contributions to fields of military education, leadership and national security. The ceremony was held at the Lewis and Clark Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Established since 1973, the US CGSC Hall of Fame honours international military officers who have distinguished themselves in their careers and made significant contributions; and by merit, attained the position of leader of their nation’s security and defence forces. The induction into the CGSC Hall of Fame is a prestigious recognition, and those selected have characteristically demonstrated outstanding leadership and have had a lasting impact on the military.

During his remarks Commodore Shurland reminisced on tenure at the College when he attended in 2001. He credits this time as the most impactful and significant professional development programmes in his military career. In his own words, Cdre shared that “the military is not just a job (I am sure that you will all agree); it is a calling, a way of life. It demands dedication, discipline, and a willingness to put others before oneself. It is an honour to serve alongside the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the Barbados Defence Force, and I share this recognition with each and every one of them.” Cdre Shurland noted that his experiences at the College have been instrumental in allowing him to more effectively develop and lead the Barbados Defence Force and the Regional Security System.

As he concluded, Cdre Shurland mentioned that the receipt of this military award is not just an acknowledgment of his individual achievements, but it is a testament to the resilience and dedication of our armed forces as a whole. He encouraged the audience to “let us continue to stand united and strong, protecting the values we hold dear and pursuing a better world for all.”

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Main Lessons Learnt (Commodore Shurland’s Words)

The Commandant General during my time here was General James C Riley. Perfect is the enemy of good enough was a phrase that he used during an introductory speech to jus back in 2001. It was not an original quote (The origins of the phrase are actually from a French proverb by Volatire, which says l’ennemi du bien est le bien) … but that phrase provided me and I am sure several of my class mates some critical guidance.

It was essentially saying not to get caught up in making things perfect and — as a result — never get anything done! Working for a perfectionist often comes with punishing micromanagement, a demand for perfect answers, decision and action paralysis, procrastination, and demoralisation of subordinates and colleagues. Nothing is ever good enough for the perfectionist. So, I can safely say that I am not a perfectionist and never will be.

The second lesson learn was one in dispute resolution and mediation moreso and also diplomacy.

The class of 2002 had 91 international students from 79 countries from Albania to Yemen among the 1200 students. It is not the number of countries that is important…. it was the event that occurred on 11 September 2001. On that fateful morning we were the old Eisenhower Auditorium, nicknamed the “Big Blue Bedroom” for the tendency for students to fall asleep during briefings there. But none of us were asleep as the lecture was interrupted and events of that morning were shown on the big screen.

The tension in the room was palpable eventually turned to anger and accusations in some instances…… given the diversity of nations, religions, political and diplomatic differences in the class of 2002. The Deputy Commandant General was General David Huntoon. He had the responsibility to manage the situation. He did so with a calm assurance utilising tools to manage and resolve concerns, disagreement, and conflict in a constructive manner. He encouraged creative tension and for differences of opinions to be shared. An environment was created allowing all to express their views and the leaders in the International Officer grouping assisted by taking steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. It allowed for dialogue to facilitate future discussion during the crisis. It ended up with us writing a letter to the leadership of the College which was addressed to General Huntoon. The last paragraph I will cite for you.. “Regardless of nationality, faith or culture, the international officers wholeheartedly and unanimously condemn this terrorist attack against innocent people, freedom, prosperity, and human dignity. We condemn this attack against the United States of America!”

The lesson learnt there was not only dispute resolution and conflict management but also diplomacy and engaging the strength of partnerships.




The Day of the Seafarer and the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Media Release: BDF Media and Communications, RSS| 27 June 2022

The contribution made by seafarers to international trade and the economy was lauded during a celebration held at the Barbados Coast Guard, PELICAN, on Sunday.

          The activities, hosted by the Regional Security System (RSS) and the Barbados Coast Guard, were held to observe the Day of the Seafarer and the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

During a brief opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the RSS, Graham Archer, paid homage to fishers, researchers, ship operators and all other occupations which operated in the maritime space, praising them for their continued efforts in spite of the several factors which affected their duties. 

Mr. Archer alluded to shipping in particular, and noted that it had been negatively impacted in recent times. “In this current environment, we can see the effects of shipping on our economies. We know that there are shortages of items because shipping has been affected by COVID-19 and the war in Europe. You can tell by the prices in the supermarket which have gone up, shipping has become more costly. I say all that to drive home the major contribution that shipping makes to the economy,” he stated.

Affirming the RSS’ commitment to the development of the maritime space, the RSS Deputy stated: “At the RSS (and the BDF) we try to contribute to the sustenance of the maritime environment by providing training for people who operate ships. We do a whole range of maritime courses… so that we can have a better maritime community to serve everyone in the region.”

Chief Fisheries Officer, Joyce Leslie, also commended persons who worked in the maritime sector, in particular those in the fishing industry, pointing out that it was one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

“The vulnerable nature of fisheries, that includes not only the aquatic biological resources, but also the harvest sector and the people who work on the ships, the fishers, are susceptible to a lot of threats, not only to their livelihood, but also their security when they’re on the sea. Consequently the Fishing Division is grateful for the continued exposure and enhancement of our staff through the many training exercises and interventions conducted by the BDF and the RSS over the past years,” she maintained.

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Ms. Leslie said that the Fisheries Division had been metaphorically joined at the hips of the BDF and RSS noting that “the issues associated with, and emanating from, illegal and unregulated fishing within the region and the deleterious impact it can have on our fishing resources can only be combated through a regional initiative using their shared resources.”

Consequently, the Fishing Division is grateful for the continued exposure and enhancement of its staff through the many training exercises and interventions conducted by the BDF/RSS over the past years. Training to enhance the competencies of officers authorized to enforce fisheries legislation such as the marine police, coast guard and fisheries officers, have enabled knowledge of the fisheries laws in the OECS countries, built confidence in conducting law enforcement duties, forged networking channels and also friendships which augurs well for the cooperation within the Eastern Caribbean.

In addition, the issues associated with and emanating from illegal imported and unregulated fishing within the region and the deleterious impact it can have on our fishing resources can only be combated through a regional initiative using the resources of the RSS.

During the two-hour activity, visitors to the BCGS PELICAN saw a net-throwing demonstration by fisherman Selwyn Bowen, search and rescue and drug-interdiction simulations and a presentation on how to handle an emergency at sea by fishermen Everton and Donville Brathwaite.

Caribbean Forum On Maritime Crime 2022

Caribbean Forum On Maritime Crime 2022

Caribbean Forum On Maritme Crime 2022

UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme

Media Release:|2022

A total of 53 delegates from 8 Caribbean countries and 3 regional organizations (Implementation Agency for Crime and Security – IMPACS, Regional Security System -RSS and Caribbean Regional Fishing Mechanism CRFM) celebrated the opening of the Caribbean Forum on Maritime Crime in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The initiative has been developed and implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) with the support of the Dominican Republic.

The Chief of Staff, Commodore Errington Shurland shared remarks about improving the security and prosperity of the maritime space and trade in our region.

Clicks to information:

Read more here and view highlights here.

Caribbean Forum On Maritime Crime 2022


The BDF Donates $30,000.00 To The Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of technology

BDF Committed To Youth Development

Media Release BDF Media and Communications|5 May 2022

The Barbados Coast Guard donated $30, 000.00 in equipment to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) Automotive and Welding Engineering Department. The donation comprised of Caterpillar Marine 3208 engine parts and supplies.

According to Lieutenant (Coast Guard) Jerome Belle, Divisional Officer Engineering, this donation supports the Barbados Defence Force’s mandate to assist in youth development, by way of an investment of this type to support their ambition and careers. Lt (CG) Belle went on to underscore the importance of realistic hands on training for marine technicians and for the need of the SJPIT to become a regional leading institute in maritime courses.

The BDF and the SJPI boasts a positive and productive relationship, spanning over 20years. This relationship has seen the annual training of students enrolled in the Diploma in Marine Diesel Engineering and the Diploma in Maritime Operations programs at the Barbados Coast Guard (BCG). At present, there are 10-second-year students registered for the exchange training.

Mr Ian Drakes, Principal of SJPI during his remarks and appreciation to the Barbados Coast Guard, mentioned that “this opportunity, is the BCG investing heavily in the youth of Barbados and I hope they (the youth) learn to appreciate and also the navigate with the instructions that is delivered to them on a continuous basis.” The technical students are exposed to marine diesel engines, ship science, propulsion systems and health and safety in the maritime environment. Additionally, during the summer for 6 weeks, final-year students conduct their Industrial Attachment with the Barbados Coast Guard’s Engineering Division.

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During this period, students execute practice skills and knowledge gained over their course of study. This on-the-job training, not only focuses on marine engineering, but also seeks to cultivate desirable work ethics. Under the guidance of the Engineering Division’s senior marine technicians, the students are exposed to international industry standards and practices.

These students, like many others, benefit from the structured environment offered by the military and increases their marketability. As such, today, many past student of the program are currently employed with the Barbados Port Inc., Atlantis Submarine Barbados, several local pleasure crafts and the Barbados Coast Guard.

As Barbados continues to fully embrace local, regional and international job opportunities within the Maritime Sectors and the Blue Economy, courses such as the Diploma in Marine Diesel Engineering, offers a suitable foundation for students.

BDF Advances Its Response Capabilities

BDF Advances Its Response Capabilities

BDF Advances Its Response Capabilities

BDF Media Release| 9 April 2022

Photography and Story credit: BDF Media, World Hope International

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) continues to improve and advance its security and disaster response capabilities, in an effort to safeguard Barbados’ interests and its visitors. The advancement of the Force’s multidisciplinary skillsets is enabled via strategically targeted training and inter-agency cohesion.

On 8 April 2022, the Barbados Defence Force participated in disaster simulation training, facilitated by the World Hope International. Members of the BDF were engaged in helicopter rescues, assessments and the coordination of support agencies.

During the training session, the teams extinguished toxic fires, rescued trapped victims and conducted medical evacuations.

Watch Highlights




CANSEC 22: Improving Joint Security and Response Capabilities

Media Release: BDF Media and Communications, US Southcom| 7 April 2022

The Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC 22) a two-day conference, co-hosted by the Barbados Defence Force and SOUTHCOM, focused on ways to enhance security cooperation to deal with a host of regional challenges and threats, like the continuing effects of COVID-19, natural disasters, climate change, cyberattacks and competition between authoritarianism and democracy.

“[The Caribbean] is a vitally important region to SOUTHCOM, the U.S. government, and the American people. With authoritarianism on the rise, protecting human rights, and helping our democracies deliver for our people is more important than ever before,” Richardson told attendees during the conference’s opening ceremony.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley spoke during the opening of CANSEC 22 and highlighted the importance of security cooperation.

“Much has been said this morning already with respect to the common threats that we now face. I don’t think any of us needs to be reminded of it, because we live it each and every day,” said Mottley. “But our role is not only cooperation. Our role is also to be able to give confidence to our populations that we have this, or as we say in Barbados and the Caribbean: we got this.”



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In addition to the United States and Barbados, defense leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago took part in CANSEC 22.

Representatives from Canada, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands also took part, along with representatives from regional organizations like the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, the Regional Security System, the Inter-American Defense Board and the Inter-American Defense College.

Regional Threats and Regional Cooperation

During the CANSEC 22 opening ceremony, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Daniel Erickson spoke about the threats and challenges facing the Caribbean and what the Department of Defense is doing to work with Caribbean partners to keep the region a “zone of peace.”

“The challenges before us are many, but the way forward is through trust and cooperation. Only through building trust and deepening cooperation will we be able to meet these challenges successfully,” said Erickson.

Richardson said transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose “one of the most imminent threats” in the region.

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