Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 23, 2022 (SKNIS): The rank and file of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) have a bit more to celebrate this holiday season following an update by Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, at a Christmas Luncheon on December 22, 2022.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew addressed the gathering of soldiers and coast guard officers at Camp Springfield and told them that since his initial meeting with SKNDF members on August 26, 2022, he has met with the SKNDF Commander, Lieutenant Colonel J. Anthony Comrie, as well as the Defence Board to explore several matters raised during the initial meeting. One of the topics relates to remuneration.
“We ensured that the entrance pay scale for the Defence Force recruits approached that, as much as possible, as those who serve in the Police. We have made that adjustment for you, so you should see an increase in that,” the Prime Minister stated.
“Secondly, we have decided that your gym must be completed,” Dr. Drew said.
This announcement was greeted by rousing applause as Lt. Col. Comrie confirmed that he already received some funds to work on the project. Additional financing will be disbursed in the new year. Upgrades to the barracks on base were also approved for funding.
“The increase in your pay, the increase of your conditions in terms of the gym and the barracks really show our commitment to ensure that the Defence Force continues to improve and to be strong,” the Minister of National Security expressed. “We appreciate what you do. We appreciate your sacrifices.”
The Prime Minister added that the Ministry will continue working with the Nevis Island Administration in the coming weeks and months to identify lands that can be used to host the permanent home of the SKNDF on Nevis. Dr. Drew further noted that he was informed that a 40-foot patrol boat for the Coast Guard Unit is expected next year.