KINGSTON – The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) says its Thales Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMV), acquired in 2015 and 2016, are helping to ward off criminals in the ongoing gang violence in Denham Town, Kingston.
Major Basil Jarrett, civil military cooperation officer at the JDF, told the Jamaica Observer that last Thursday when a joint army/police patrol team came under fire from gunmen in Denham Town, upon request and arrival of PMV support, there was a ceasefire.
“The PMVs have been a great tactical asset as we can now move into an area to quickly and safely deliver troops or extract security personnel or detainees if needed,” Jarrett said. “The PMVs are rugged, imposing, and flexible enough to be used in a number of emergency situations, including internal security. They are resistant to small arms gunfire, improvised explosive devices and other personnel threats, and give the soldiers increased confidence to go into the most hostile territories,” Jarrett said.
As an armoured troop carrier, the PMVs are able to quickly and safely move soldiers into and out of dangerous areas, thereby improving the JDF’s ability to sustain and support its mission objectives, he added.
The Bushmaster PMVs replaced the JDF’s fleet of aged Cadillac Gage V150 Armoured Personnel Carriers which were acquired almost 40 years ago.
The vehicles are combat- proven and have been successfully deployed by three armies on operations in a number of regions, including the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific.
The PMV is designed and built to carry up to 10 occupants with their arms and equipment, as well as additional life support equipment, fuel, and logistics supplies.
The Bushmaster is also fitted with a Central Tyre Inflation System, and also houses an automatic fire suppression system.
Meanwhile, Jarrett said the ongoing gang violence for turf in West Kingston that has left several people dead and others wounded in recent times, has forced the army to deploy a strong contingent of JDF soldiers to work with the police around the clock.
“We have a 24-hour presence in the area with troops and police conducting frequent patrols throughout the day. Our presence there, alongside the police and supported by the Bushmasters, not only acts as a calming, reassuring force, but also helps to buffer the warring factions by keeping them from each other. (Jamaica Observer)