Today, U.S. Ambassador to Grenada Linda Taglialatela observed the upgrade of two Grenadian Coast Guard drug interceptor vessels as part of a $1 million USD contribution from US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). This project, called the SAFE Boat Mid-Life Upgrade, includes a complete vessel overhaul, new engines, and a spare parts package to support the vessel. This work, conducted by SOUTHCOM’s Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), began on January 10th and is expected to end on April 2nd. Upon completion, it will extend the life of the interceptor vessels an additional 6-7 years and enhance regional security.
Royal Grenada Police Force Assistant Commissioner Jessmon Prince thanked the U.S. government for adding an extra 7 years to the vessels through the upgrades, stressing that they are the backbone of Coast Guard operations in Grenada.
The United States originally provided these two SAFE boats to Grenada as part of Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) grant in 2012. From 2010 to 2018, the United States has committed over $556 million for CBSI throughout the region. In the next few months, St. Kitts, Dominica, and St. Vincent will also receive vessel upgrades.
This vessel upgrade continues SOUTHCOM’s Enduring Promise of regional support and security cooperation to Grenada and the Eastern Caribbean, supporting national border security, protection of territorial waters, and countering illicit drug trafficking.
The project is part of the U.S. Embassy’s U.S.-Caribbean 2020 Strategy, which focuses on cooperation in the areas of security, health, energy, education, economic prosperity, and diplomacy.