Minister Caines Responds To ‘Nine Colonels’

March 13, 2018

“The ‘Nine Colonels’ view regarding conscription is myopic, and their conclusions are outdated and factually inaccurate,” Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said this evening.

The Minister’s statement follows after group of nine former Commanding Officers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment said the Regiment is “now seriously under strength” adding that they feel the “abolition of conscription in Bermuda will lead to the ultimate demise and disappearance” of the Regiment.

Minister Caines said, “Yesterday [March 12], I presented a comprehensive Budget Brief for the Ministry of National Security.

“The Ministry’s Budget presentation outlined some key facts and provided significant updates regarding the Ministry’s budget allocation, services and programmes.

“A critical aspect of the National Security Budget Brief was the overview of the Royal Bermuda Regiment [RBR]. This is important because much of the information contained in this year’s presentation highlighted our vision for the future of the RBR.

“It’s also important because it addressed some of the comments shared recently by the “Nine Colonels”.

“This Government has made it quite clear that we do not support Conscription. In fact, the Royal Bermuda Regiment hasn’t conscripted in four years.

“Furthermore, I am of the view that discussing matters to do with the RBR, including conscription via a press statement without in the first instance discussing it with the Minister was very unfortunate.

“Simply put, the ‘Nine Colonels” view regarding conscription is myopic, and their conclusions are outdated and factually inaccurate.

“As I shared in the Ministry’s brief, total funding for Defence for the coming year is $7,208,885; a decrease of $63,267. This new cash limit represents a decrease of point eight seven percent [0.87%] for Defence.

“I also shared in yesterday’s Ministry Budget presentation, the Regiment’s role is to provide operational capacity to support the civil authority. It performs a number of significant functions including natural and man-made disaster relief, internal security, state ceremonial activity, routine and specialist support to the Bermuda Police Service, military training, social cohesion and youth development.

“At this time, the Regiment is conducting an internal Strategic Review so that a five year plan can be produced to restructure and organize the Regiment for its current and for potential missions and tasks.

“We envision an RBR which will eventually evolve. We see a small, more streamlined full time battalion of up to 200 manned specialized roles, which includes ceremonial duties, humanitarian relief and a coast guard. In fact we are looking to position the RBR as a career choice for interested individuals, where we will provide a pathway for specialized education and training.

“Our vision of the RBR is also of one where we are recruiting multiple times throughout the year.

“The analysis carried out thus far, supports the development of three distinct areas that the RBR should consider professionalizing:

  • “Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief [HADR],
  • “Coast Guard [a full time Coast Guard is currently being developed this fiscal year]; and
  • “Military Aid to Civil Authority [MACA].

“The aforementioned capabilities would be delivered by full time officers and soldiers; underpinned by a bespoke and accredited education/training package.

“The RBR will seek to find compensating reductions in the RBR budget for fiscal year 18/19, in order to invest in an operationally focused Coast Guard, in addition to a HADR and MACA capability.

“We continue to transition to a volunteer intake and this year we will have a second Recruit Camp in July 2018,” continued Minister Caines, who himself served as a Captain in the Royal Bermuda Regiment.

“Our young [and not-so-young] have been answering the call of service in large numbers and as a result of their rewarding experience and the benefits of Regimental service individuals have been re-enlisting way past their discharge date.

“The Regiment Command Group is working together with the Ministry for the lead Regimental Maritime Role which will see 14 new posts created, establishing a Hybrid Maritime Unit with the BPS in order to fully take over using a phased approach for the complete maritime inshore policing around Bermuda. We will be working with the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service and are exploring the possibility of soldiers being trained as Auxiliary Firefighters.

“The Regiment is thus well set to provide valuable services to Bermuda as it moves through its second half century and will continue to receive strong support from this Government.

“Finally, the RBR will continue to invest in our people allowing them to reach their full potential, professionalize and expand the roles and capabilities of the Regiment on land and at sea.

“Ultimately, by 2025 the RBR will be better manned and offer a path to a professional career and unparalleled personal development opportunities on and off island through a mix of full time and part time services.

“We will be effectively trained and able to secure Bermuda’s maritime domain, maintain the safety and security of the people of Bermuda and respond to disasters firstly at home and in the region by working on our own or with our regional partners.

“The RBR plays a vital role in the life, safety and unity of the country, and all of Bermuda should be proud of our soldiers and the service they provide the people of this Country.

“Lastly, the Ministry of National Security’s board room has a table that seats ten, we remain available to meet with the ‘Nine Colonels’ should they wish to discuss our future plans and vision for the RBR.“

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Comments (28)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    We will no longer have Marine Police Officers?

  2. Warlord2 says:

    Pretty boy Caine’s is turning out to be quite the muppet.I had a glimmer of hope about him.He is fitting the characteristics of a PLP minister and not in a good way.

    • Swing Vote says:

      I was a muppet and a surrogate for the oba. Believed in everything thing we did as a group. My friends would always say “why are you with these guys” People that behave similar to Trevor Moniz and Micheal Fahy in the OBA are the very reason I left. Good luck trying to attract more black Bermudian men that were trying to help bridge the gap.

    • Standing Strong says:

      The power has gone to his head.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Lost respect for caines power and politics gone right to his head.

  3. Kevin says:

    Well WC has taken a little while before showing us that he like the rest of the plp ministers are wanting their agenda and keeping votes rather than making sound decisions. I believe reading between the lines that he would like to see a Paid full time regiment ( where the hell is the money coming from) but this current intake of volunteer recruits will see the end within 5 years. Way to go plp add that to a closed Police Station, volunteer Fire station hell wont be long you will call 911 and no one answers

  4. Kevin says:

    Well it didn’t take before the real WC showed up , typically just like the rest of the plp ministers are short on vision and have an agenda they wish to impose, I read that they would like to see a full time paid Regiment ( money grows on trees theory). The nine colonels know what they are stating without conscription the Regiment will fail…perhaps that’s the plan First a Police station closed then close a volunteer Fire station hell why not the regiment next

    • pfc says:

      ALL PART OF THE MASTER PLAN.We will DO WHAT WE WANT when we want how we want to the detriment of the Bermudian people. Is it possible we are turning somewhat DICTATORIAL. Preserve power at ALL cost??

    • PBanks says:

      One could suggest that by suggesting the Regiment be a full-time, salaried organisation, it lines it up nicely for when Govt decides to campaign for independence.

      Of course by making the Regiment full-time, they’d *have* to reduce overall headcount because the monies aren’t there.

      In the end though, the Regiment simply has to adapt to the changing times. Or become extinct.

  5. Oh really says:

    Here we go again spending like they have money to spend. Creating 14 new jobs and yet we are billions in debt. Just what do they not understand.

    • Really? says:

      Well where’s the OBAs promised 2000 jobs?….the silence is scary.

  6. sandgrownan says:

    Don’t often agree with PLP ministers, but Caines is spot on with this – long overdue I might add, but better late than never.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Lmfao…what do we really need a full time coast guard for!

  7. facts of the rock says:

    Wayne Caines is talking b/s AGAIN.

  8. Zevon says:

    Typical PLP. They never overlook an opportunity to spend other people’s money, even when it’s borrowed from foreign bankers.
    Caines is a failure. The Regiment is failing under his watch.

  9. Onion Puke says:

    Is Capt Major General Burch the 9th Colonel?? He does like to throw those titles around like he’s important

  10. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Simply put, the ‘Nine Colonels” view regarding conscription is myopic, and their conclusions are outdated and factually inaccurate”

    Why listen to the people who have been there and done that?

  11. Really? says:

    Where were these 9 colonels when this decision was made 4 years ago? More OBA trolling? And to these trolls above me, where were u when the OBA made this change? Or right I forgot it’s blame the Plp for everything…almost forgot the WS code

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Where were you when they DID bring the subject up (maybe even twice)in the not so recent past ?

    • Anbu says:

      Because 99% of it IS the plps fault. Lmao. U really that faithful? Lol. Where have u been for the last 5 years?

  12. sgt says:

    9 ex professionals, in your face facts of recent enrollment but we don’t care you lot don’t know diddly. I / We don’t want it so it shall be gone

  13. Starting Point says:

    Having been in both the regiment and the parks service during multiple hurricanes i can tell you for a fact, it is the parks service and works and engineering that pull the bulk of work during clean up, not even close. The parks and W&E departments take a ton a flack (often very deserved) for being lazy etc. but when it comes to hurricanes they are full on and do a great job.

    so the Regiment is not needed for natural disaster work.

    National security, they are not trained enough to actually shoot an individual with a live round, no way, no how will it ever happen and if it did and race was involved then we would prob have regiment soldiers shooting each other. Anyone who thinks they are prepared to shoot a human being prob believe teachers in the US are also ready to kill another human in a school when they are armed. Its a fallacy to think the regiment can contribute to social policing.

    So the Regiment is not there for security either

    They do look nice during a parade but 50 can look just as good as 200, personally i am fine without but the tourists like to see it at harbour nights, in fact the band is prob the most qualified unit at the regiment by far and do a great job, lets keep them.

    So, cut the budget even more, cut the use of Warwick camp in half, staff it with about 50 full time, give the space to community clubs and junior cadets, scouts etc. this will build a youth interest in the regiment. Use the saved funding to better support our police force and charities that are promoting positive youth engagement.

  14. Cool Idea, But How? says:

    First off, I like the idea of a streamlined full-time RBR. But if you pay 200 soldiers at an average of 70K a year, then you have pay out 14 Million dollars, about twice the existing annual budget. That is of course not covering other Operational and Equipment costs…

    More information is required on how they plan to finance this new Royal Bermuda Regiment. I still like the idea though – maybe I’ll be back there in uniform!

  15. B.A.D. says:

    I agree with professionalizing those areas. Disaster relief doesn’t have to be full time. Lets be honest how often do we have hurricanes or major disasters? Coast guard is necessary because so much fisherman and boaters in general get stuck regularly out there with nobody to come by for hours which I have experienced.
    I believe we are letting these titles dictate to us to seem relevant. Colonels and Majors holding on to a sinking ship come on. They do nothing but march, drive and guard the governor who half of Bermuda will walk pass on any day and not even recognize lol.
    Cut that regulation number down and give a few people full time jobs. Lets not have all of Bermuda back in the prehistoric times!

  16. steve says:

    The OBA dont listen to the people off the street. The PLP dont listen to the professionals.

  17. Alan says:

    A lot of show, not so convinced about the go.

  18. Debra Apple says:

    I believe we are letting these titles dictate to us to seem relevant. Colonels and Majors holding on to a sinking ship come on.

  19. sid says:

    Why does the Regiment even exist? Why does Bermuda need a military? Who is going to invade? Isn’t the UK responsible for defence of its overseas territories, if ever such an incredibly unlikely event occurred (most lately in the Falkland Islands, 40 years ago)?

    If Bermuda needs a proper coast guard, then hire and train professionals to do it. If Bermuda needs a proper riot police, or disaster responders, then hire and train a few dozen professionals to do it properly. Having a bunch of guys parading around in camouflage in case someone invades Elbow Beach is a ridiculous waste of time and money.