The vision of the Combat Support Battalion (Cbt Sp Bn) is to provide for the JDF a composite
The Combat Support Battalion Headquarters was stood up on January 5, 2009. The Battalion was officially formed on January 9, 2009 under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Gary Spencer Rowe, and became fully operational on January 25, 2010. At that time, it was the ninth unit to have been formed in the history of the JDF. As the JDF evolved, it represented for a period the central hub for training and doctrinal transformation, and as such was comprised of the Military Training Wing, the Force Physical Education and Training Wing and the Professional Military Education Wing.
Since that time, the Unit has continued to evolve significantly in order to be as relevant as possible to the Force and by extension the wider Jamaican society. Most of the initial sub-units are now assigned to other units and have themselves evolved. For example, the Military Training Wing is now the Caribbean Infantry Training Centre, now held under the Directorate of Training and Doctrine, which is a Unit that now falls under the Brigade known as the Caribbean Military Academy. The Force Physical Education and Training Wing is now a sub-unit of the Health Services Corps, which was formed on 01 January 2019. The professional Military Education Wing has also become the Caribbean Institute of Professional Military Education, which continues to provide a range of courses including the Caribbean Junior Command and Staff Course.
Protected Mobility Vehicle Squadron
The Combat Support Battalion is now the Chief of Defence Staff’s operational flexibility and manoeuvre element, allowing for mechanized infantry support to be made available in any operational area across Jamaica. It is currently the home of the Protected Mobility Vehicle Squadron, made up of the Caribbean’s first and currently only fleet of Bushmaster Thales vehicles. The mechanized infantry allows for the movement of troops under protection in order to render assistance of varied forms to light infantry and other military units. The Unit provides this capability to units deployed across the island, with particular focus currently on assisting the Jamaica Constabulary Force with the conduct of internal security operations.
Jamaica Regiment Band
The Unit is also the new home of the Jamaica Regiment Band and the Corps of Drums. The Jamaica Regiment Band and the Infantry Regiment of which it is a part, both have a long lineage. It is the younger of the two bands within the Jamaica Defence Force having being formed after the Jamaica Military Band in 1962. The Band, which had previously been that of the West Indian Regiment, thereafter, became the Band of the 1st Battalion the Jamaica Regiment. Following the formation of the 2nd Battalion the Jamaica Regiment in 1979, the band was renamed, “The Jamaica Regiment Band” and thereafter served both Regular Battalions (1st and the 2nd Battalion of the Jamaica Regiment). As a part of the Jamaica Defence Force, the Jamaica Regiment Band has developed and maintained a very high degree of professionalism over the years. As a Military Band, it specializes in all aspect of Military Music performing on nearly all State, National and Military Parade. The band also plays various genres of music.
The band has been known to have given many memorable performances on both the local and international scenes. The Jamaica Regiment Band has given performances at public parks, embassies, and other locations islandwide. The band also performed overseas on tours including Earl’s Court in the UK, Ladyville in Belize, Chicago, USA, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, St Georges, Haiti, Hamilton in Bermuda, and, in collaboration with the Jamaica Military Band, performing Public Duties in the UK at Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and St James Castle.
Following the continued expansion of the Jamaica Defence Force and the implementation of the Brigades under a Divisional Headquarters, the Jamaica Regiment Band was posted to the Combat Support Battalion where it serves the Jamaica Regiment, which consist of the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions along with Combat Support Battalion. Band members can be identified when wearing scarlet uniform by the red, black and gold checkered dicing on their forage caps.
The Jamaica Regiment Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a musical department of several soldiers known has Drummers. The use of drums in the military dates back ancient warfare, more than four thousand (4000) years, where drums were used to rally the troops and keep rhythm and momentum. The Corps of Drums in the Jamaica Defence Force has its roots in the British Forces and still maintains some of the traditions which have been passed down through time. This has been kept throughout the military in Jamaica from the West India Regiment to the Jamaica Defence Force.
The Adjutant who is the Platoon Commander and the Drum Major who is Second in Command leads the Corps. The Jamaica Regiment Corps of Drums was formed July 1st 2019 from the amalgamation of the 1st Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (1 JR) Corps of Drums, which was formed July 31st 1962, and the 2nd Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (2 JR) Corps of Drums, which was formed May 29th 1979. The current establishment of the Corps of Drums is one hundred (100) soldiers to include the Drum Major who is a Warrant Officer Class 2, three (3) Staff Sergeants, eight (8) Sergeants, nine (9) Corporals, forty two (42) Lance Corporals and thirty seven (37) Privates.
The roles and responsibilities of the Corp of Drums include but are not limited to the following: