Career Barbadian Military earns honour from United States counterparts – Prime Minister Stuart witnesses
U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, Commander of U.S. Southern Command presented the United States Defense Department’s Legion of Merit medal to Barbados Defence Force Chief of Staff, Col. Alvin E. Quintyne, during a formal award ceremony at Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s headquarters.
Gen. Fraser presented the medal on behalf of the U.S. Secretary of Defense in recognition of Col. Quintyne’s contributions to promoting Caribbean security cooperation and bolstering the capacity of Barbados Defence Force from September 2003 through April 2009. During the ceremony he noted it was an “esteemed honor to award the Legion of Merit” to Col. Quintyne.
The Legion of Merit was established by an act of Congress in 1942. It is the highest military honor awarded by the United States Department of Defence to foreign military personnel.
The citation accompanying the medal praises Col. Quintyne’s role in leading “an international cooperative effort to strengthen security and stability” in the Eastern Caribbean, resulting in the development of a center of excellence that currently provides logistics support to training exercises in the region.
The medal citation also credits Col. Quintyne’s “capable preparations” for the success of a multinational diver exchange hosted by Barbados in 2008. During the exchange, carried out in partnership with the crew of the U.S. rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp, more than 27 divers from six Eastern Caribbean nations received basic and advanced dive operations training, and took part in joint underwater inspections of civilian and military piers. Barbados again hosted a similar diver exchange with USNS Grasp in May 2010.
Col. Quintyne’s efforts to modernize, train and expand Barbados Defence Force are lauded in the citation, underscoring the construction of a new Barbados Coast Guard base and purchase of three high-speed patrol vessels for drug interdiction operations as notable achievements in this area.
Prime Minister Stuart noted in his remarks Col. Quintyne’s “sterling service” in strengthening the partnership between the U.S. and Barbados.