In keeping with one of its designated roles, the JDF has, since 1962, supported the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the national civil police organisation, in the maintenance of law and order.
The JDF was part of the coalition of regional forces which restored democracy to Grenada between 1983 and 1985. It was also a part of the US-led force which entered Haiti in 1994 to assist in the restoration of democracy. In follow-up operations there, the JDF subsequently provided a contingent for peace keeping duties, serving for the first time under the flag of the United Nations.
The JDF assisted in national water-supply development projects in Jamaica from 1983-85 with the construction of a major water pipeline from Yallahs, St Thomas, to the Mona Reservoir in St Andrew. Between March 1993 and July 1995, the Engineer Regiment repaired over 55 km of farm roads in several parishes of Jamaica.
Since its formation, the Force has assisted the essential services during industrial disputes. The JDF has also been very active in environmental protection. The JDF Coast Guard is trained and equipped to deal with marine oil spills and deployed two members to Alaska in 1990 to assist with the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The Force has been significantly involved in disaster relief operations in both Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Several units were deployed to western Jamaica in 1979 following massive flooding which occurred in June that year. The JDF Coast Guard helped with the movement of nurses and supplies to Dominica in 1976 after Hurricane David. Troops were also deployed to Antigua, Dominica and St Lucia after the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, to the Bahamas following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and to Antigua, Barbuda and Anguilla in 1995 following Hurricane Luis. Over the years the JDF has worked closely with the Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.
With the assistance of the Canadian government the JDF established a Junior Command and Staff College at the JDF Training Depot, Newcastle in 1993. The College offers staff training (to NATO standards) to a selection of officers from the Force, as well as officers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Department of Correctional Services, and the Jamaica Fire Brigade, and to officers from other Caribbean military forces, Canadian Armed Forces and the US military.
The JDF has played a major role in the numerous State Visits and other national ceremonial occasions which have taken place since Independence. Two major military tattoos have been staged, in 1968 and 1983. During the Royal Visits of 1966, 1975 and 1994, Her Majesty The Queen witnessed the Trooping of the Colours by the First Battalion (1966), the Third Battalion (National Reserve) (1975) and the Second Battalion (1994).