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US to give 34 special ships for maritime security

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US to give 34 special ships for maritime security

MAK Jilany, The Report: The US attaches special importance to the maritime security of Bangladesh. For that purpose the US will give 34 small but high-speed defender class patrol and ambulance boats and other important equipment alongside other assistances by 2016. The western country will give the ships with the ultimate security of the people of Bangladesh in view.

The fourth US-Bangladesh security dialogue was held on September 11 in Washington. In that meeting the decision on the ships was taken. In the dialogue the two countries discussed regional cooperation, anti-terror stance and security, military cooperation, UN peacekeeping missions and other issues.

US politico-military affairs bureau officer David I. McKeeby divulged this in a message on September 19 to The Report.

The US and Bangladesh are enjoying warm relations in the areas like education and health, democracy and good governance, trade and investment, sustainable development and the fight against climate change. The ties are expected to be strengthened in the days ahead.

On the other hand, the relation of the two countries in the area of security is one of the most important, said David I. McKeeby talking about the security ties.

He told The Report, “In the relations concerning security Bangladesh and the US attach importance mainly to three issues. These three are--maritime security, humanitarian response and disaster preparedness.”

About the maritime security, he said, “The maritime security is the core pillar of the US-Bangladesh security relations.”

Since 2005 the US has been supporting Bangladesh in the area of maritime security. That time under a project the US extended help for building a patrol boat fleet for the Bangladesh Coastguard. Through that the maritime security was enhanced, it was also ensured that relief activities during any disaster keeps going and security of remote areas was also strengthened.

The US politico-military affairs bureau officer said, “We hope the US will provide Bangladesh with necessary equipment and 34 small but high-speed Defender class patrol and ambulance boats by 2016 to ensure the maritime security of Bangladesh. They will help secure the sea and port areas apart from being used in emergency exploration, rescue operation and patrol of the law-enforcing agencies and for other security purposes.”

He mentioned that pilferage at the Chittagong Port declined by 70 percent because of the US help.

He said, “Not only the special ships, the US also will give the Bangladesh military on-the-spot training in this connection, so that the efficiency of the Bangladesh Navy also increases and they can earn knowledge about the ground reality. The Bangladesh Navy has already made dramatic and effective improvement in ensuring security of the coastal areas. On implementation of different projects in Bangladesh under the US Foreign Military Financing programme the incidents of theft at the Chittagong Port have declined by 70 percent.”

David I. McKeeby also said, “Earlier the US presented Bangladesh a ship which is now named Samudra Joy. Besides, in the current year another ship named Rus has been given by the US to Bangladesh. The US is helping Bangladesh in ensuring maritime security with a view to ensuring security of this region.”

About the peacekeeping missions David I. McKeeby said, “The US values the leadership of Bangladesh in the UN peacekeeping operations. The US is helping Bangladesh in this area also so that the country can play a more vital role in it in future. Bangladesh is also a member of the U.S. Global Peace Operations Initiative-GPOI. Under the GPOI the US has given training and training materials and helped in reform of the BIPSOT involving 14 million US dollars so far since 2005. Not only have the military of Bangladesh, but also those of partner countries in the region used this institute.”

He also said, “The third area of US assistance for Bangladesh is disaster preparedness. The US is helping Bangladesh in this area to gather strength in facing cyclones like SIDR and other natural disasters taking place on different occasions. Under the initiative the US has so far built 40 shelter centres in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The centres are used for sheltering the people during any natural disaster. During the rest of the year these are run as schools for the children in the areas concerned. Another 150 such centres are being built in the coastal areas under the US assistance.”

David I. McKeeby also said, “30 more Coastal Crisis Management Centres (CCMCs) are being built in the coastal areas to help Bangladesh build its capacity further in facing disasters. On construction of those centres Bangladesh Coastguard will be able to play a more active role in securing even remote areas. Besides, the vast sea and remote areas will also come under the coastguards’ foolproof security blanket. The centres can also be used for conducing activities to maintain law and order, check smuggling, human trafficking and ensure security of marine resources in the areas concerned.”

Ends/thereport24.com/AR/Oct 1, 2015