PM hails JDF's contribution to COVID-19 fight

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PM hails JDF's contribution to COVID-19 fight

Sunday, August 02, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has lauded members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for displaying professionalism and steadfastness in executing their duties on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message marking the JDF's commemoration of Armed Forces Day at Up Park Camp on Friday, Holness, who is also Minister of Defence, said that as Jamaica fights valiantly to safeguard the health and safety of its citizens, the men and women of the army have responded to the call to service in an era where "the common enemy is not only violent crimes, but an invisible virus".

"I am truly pleased with the performance of the JDF, which has shown tremendous commitment and dedication to service in the face of a global pandemic," he stressed.

He noted that the JDF has been exemplary in supporting the country in normal times and “through strategy, logistics, security, insight, and foresight in times of great need and difficulty, as (is the case) now."

"Thank you for your excellent service to Jamaica... and I encourage (your) continued growth from strength to strength," Holness added.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, in his remarks, said that while the JDF's duties have always been "complex and evolving", success of mission has been their number one priority, as now obtains with COVID-19.

"Your work in the battlefields against an unseen enemy requires you to be agile, adaptive and undaunted as you go about your duty of protecting the men and women of this grateful country," he said.
The governor general pointed out that Armed Forces Day provides the opportunity for public recognition of the JDF's excellence in service to the nation and commendation on duties performed.

"It is also an appropriate occasion to highlight the significant impact the JDF continues to have in nation building, regional support and positive influence in the wider international community,” he added.

"I cannot imagine a more fitting way... to say thank you for your service than Armed Forces Day," he said.

Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, said that Armed Forces Day pays tribute to the "enormous sacrifice of our hardworking and committed soldiers, who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty".

"We salute your unwavering commitment to Jamaica and her people and take the opportunity to say 'thank you' for dutifully undertaking your role in service to the nation," he said.

A total of 169 members of the JDF were presented with Medals of Honour for General Service, with effect from May 23, 2019.

There were also special citations and commendations for members of the Jamaica Regiment and Maritime Air and Cyber Command for their role in the successful execution of the 'Operation Sandcastle' security, which targeted the dismantling of a criminal gang.

Armed Forces Day commemorates the JDF's establishment on July 31, 1962, having evolved from the old West India Regiment.

The day, which has been celebrated since 1981, entails a parade, which pays tribute to past and present service men and women.

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