Celebrating the MACC 3rd Anniversary

Contributor(s):   Lieutenant Lamoya James

Subject:    THE RISE OF A POWERHOUSE: MARITIME, AIR AND CYBER COMMAND (MACC)

It was a momentous occasion on 14 January 2019, marking the amalgamation of six Units, all having distinct roles and functions yet one unifying purpose- to execute operations whether actively or passively in support of the Jamaica Defence Force’s mandate and commission to provide military capability to deter and/or defeat threats against the Jamaican state and/or its interests. So it was that the Maritime, Air and Cyber Command (MACC) was born. MACC is a Brigade sized element that commands the Units of the First and Second Districts Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (1stand 2nd Dist JDF CG), the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing (JDF AW), and administers to the Military Intelligence Unit (MIU), the Special Activities Regiment (SPEAR) and the Military Cyber Corps (MCC).

Since the Brigade’s inception the revered sky blue, navy blue, black and gold Colour has been making an indelible mark on the Force at large. ‘Semper Vigilante’ or Always Watchful is not only the motto that echoes throughout all units of the Brigade but the charge given to all!

FIRST AND SECOND DISTRICTS JAMAICA DEFENCE FORCE COASTGUARD

The motto of the 1st District JDF Coast Guard is “Service, for the lives of others” and it speaks to one of the primary missions of Coast Guard Units, which is Search and Rescue (SAR). The “Service” aspect speaks to the job of the unit and “for the lives of others” speaks to putting the lives of others before self. This is evident as sailors are often exposed to treacherous conditions such as strong winds, rough seas and low visibility. The saving of lives can also be extended to Maritime Law enforcement and its efforts at stopping the flow of illicit traffic through Jamaican waters, which also saves lives on land because it deprives criminal elements of the proceeds from contraband trafficking which fuel their illicit activities.

The 2nd District JDF Coast Guard’s motto is “In Omnia Paratus” which translates from Latin to “Prepared for all things” or in simpler terms “Prepared for anything”. This is the ethos that drives all members of the 2nd District. It covers all aspects of the Unit’s missions and roles. The 2nd District Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard is the newest unit of MACC and also the Jamaica Defence Force. As befits a Naval Unit, its sailors are highly motivated to carry out the mission of conducting border protection, maritime safety and humanitarian aid in the maritime space.

Though the split of the Coast Guard into two units has initially resulted in reduced manpower for both, their commitment to achieve success has remained intact as evidenced in the most recent cocaine interdiction which prevented criminal elements of contraband valued at approximately one billion Jamaican Dollars.

JAMAICA DEFENCE FORCE AIR WING

“We Fly for All”, is the motto echoed throughout the proud JDF AW unit. This feeling of pride is fuelled by the fact that the JDF AW is the only aviation capability of the Government of Jamaica.

The JDF Air Wing has flown tens of thousands of hours on countless missions since its formation, including flying members of the British monarchy (including HRH Prince PHILLIP, and HRH Prince CHARLES) and several Heads of State. The JDF Air Wing has flown countless search and rescue missions finding many fishermen lost at sea, transferring thousands of critically injured patients across Jamaica (and from Grand Cayman and St Kitts), and participated in the interdiction of hundreds of millions of US dollars’ worth of illicit narcotics. The JDF Air Wing has also provided disaster relief for thousands of Jamaicans during and after natural disasters, assisted in General Elections in Haiti, moved thousands to include soldiers, policemen, cameramen, journalists and athletes. It has taken the JDF team to the International Military Boxing Competition in Panama in October 1981, parachutists, doctors and blood to Grand Cayman on Christmas morning in 1963, flown foreign investors, surveyors, town planners, VIPs and international personalities, including General                Colin Powell, Johnnie Cochran, Patrick Ewing, Henry Kissinger, and Lord Louis Mountbatten as well as lifted special equipment into difficult areas. Several large government infrastructure projects have utilized the assets of the JDF Air Wing, including the building of the Yallahs Pipeline.

To accomplish all these missions, the JDF Air Wing has trained pilots, maintenance and ground crew. Many of these individuals continue to make major contributions to the aviation community in Jamaica (and overseas). The JDF has adapted to aviation trends, recently changing its helicopter fleet from Bell 206, 407 and 412 models to the Bell 505 and Bell 429 which are highly sophisticated, efficient and capable aircraft. The JDF Airwing has vowed to deepen its commitment and its steadfast dedication to the mandate of the Force under the umbrella of the MACC Brigade and the continued support of its sister Units.

MILITARY INTELLIGENCE UNIT (MIU)

The MACC maintains a military intelligence unit that has the capability to provide intelligence support to the Force and Nation in specialized areas. Military intelligence capabilities are important as they collaborate to inform the spectrum of military and strategic policy decision making activities. The intelligence capability meets the needs of the Force in executing its mandate and commitment to Nation security.

THE SPECIAL ACTIVITIES REGIMENT (SPEAR)

The JDF’s Special Operations Forces is a unique, unconventional operations Unit within combat arms of the JDF. Highly trained and seasoned professionals – they embrace the fact that they are the most versatile of our tactical operational troops. They are considered to be an elite, multi-purpose force for high priority operational targets of strategic importance. Special operations forces conduct unconventional operations by air, land, or sea during combat or peacetime. These activities include offensive raids, demolitions, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and counterterrorism. In addition to their combat training, our special forces members have specialized training in swimming, diving, parachuting, survival and emergency medicine.

MILITARY CYBER CORPS (MCC)

The past decade or so has taught us that we now have a new form of warfare, a new battleground if you may and this is Cyber space. Several nations have begun to develop military cyber elements capable of both defending their national interests, as well as projecting their national power, within the cyber domain. The Jamaica Defence Force has started to think about how to utilise the cyber domain through conceptual activities in advance of the stand up the Military Cyber Corps (MCC).

CONCLUSION

In the spirit of ‘Going further, Giving back’, the MACC is working assiduously to build out its capabilities to further add to the operational framework of the JDF. The Anchor, Wings, Lightning Flashes, Tudor Rose and Yellow Akan symbolise the disparate Units of the Brigade, yet all merge together as part of a Formation which has established internal synergies to achieve considerable success. The MACC stands firmly in its resolve to be “Always Watchful” and committed to the safety and security of the Jamaican people.