Ambassador James Brewster
Interceptor Turnover Ceremony
September 30, 2016
I appreciate the opportunity to join you today as we celebrate the donation of this latest in a series of twelve Boston Whalers that the people of the United States have contributed to the security of the Dominican Republic. I am proud that we continue to build this successful partnership.
The donation of this boat comprises only a part of a much larger effort to assist in developing a shared capability to combat Transnational Organized Crime. Along with the eleven other boats, trucks, and support equipment this program represents more than $10 million dollars of shared investment. The money does not tell the whole story though, as the most important part of the program is without question the members of the Dominican Navy that risk life and limb putting this equipment to work toward our shared security.
These boats not only operate in the role of countering illicit narcotics trafficking but also work in search and rescue missions, as well as other facets of maritime law enforcement. On these boats, the Dominican Navy works alongside the National Drug Control Directorate’s Tactical Reaction Unit, U.S. Coast Guard District 7, and Joint Interagency Task Force South to combat a threat that is regional and shared. The success of this program is a true testament to our commitment to work together to promote the rule of law and the safety of all citizens in this hemisphere.
Like the Dominican Navy Operations Center on Isla Saona, the Working Dog Training Facility in Bonao, and our many other shared projects – the goal is a safer society where citizens feel secure and can prosper and provide for their families. The interceptor fleet has grown to twelve boats through a shared effort – one that is truly emblematic of our work together. The result is a capability that extends around the coast across the different missions and is integrated with a broader regional, multi-national effort.
It goes without saying that the most valuable resource –the officers and sailors who crew the boats – is a product of the Dominican Navy’s commitment to continue to innovate and develop their human capital. We want to especially thank them for their dedication and commitment. Thank you all again for being here and for the opportunity to celebrate this occasion with you today!