Military academy signs deal with UWI

By Kimone Francis
Military academy signs deal with UWI

THE University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Caribbean Military Academy (CMA) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding that should see the university assisting the academy with programme development.

The signing took place at CMA's headquarters at the Jamaica Defence Force's (JDF) Up Park Camp base in Kingston.

CMA, the academic institutional arm of the JDF, currently operates six centres of excellence which provide a broad range of training courses to developing militaries and para-military organisations across the region and around the world.

the UWI vice chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer after the signing, said the move will allow CMA's training programmes to secure international accreditation and standards.

“UWI, which has been here for 71 years, has a duty to help all of the young and emerging academies, colleges and universities. We have a duty to help with the parenting and the area in which we are very strong is in moving programmes to global accreditation; moving them from the classroom and the conception all the way into mobility,” said Beckles.

“Their members and their graduates will have a life ahead of them of 40, 50, 60 years from now and they are going to be globally mobile. They will move from country to country and they must carry their certification with them and wherever they go they know they're graduates of CMA. That has significance. It is branded, it is quality assured and it is recognisable everywhere in the world,” he added.

In the meantime, Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade stated that the academy is seeking to engage thousands of service people for training and development.

 “We are building the force from 6,500 to 15,000 overall and we need to train all those persons and we also want to do the same for all the small forces across the region and the world. So, we're thinking that we're going to be going into tens of thousands of persons [in terms of the number of people] we're going to engage. As vice chancellor said, we have access to a military market across the world and UWI wants to expand and we want to get assistance in having international tertiary standards and accreditation,” Meade explained to the Observer.

He said that while the university will be offering guidance on international standards, the academy will, in turn, provide the opportunity for the university to access military clients globally.

“So, it is a win-win partnership between us and the University of the West Indies,” said Meade.

CMA is aiming to become the training academy of choice for small states with defence and other military forces. The centres of excellence under the banner of CMA include Caribbean Institute of Professional Military Education, Caribbean Military Aviation School, Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre, Caribbean Infantry Training Centre, Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute and Caribbean Special Tactics Centre.

CMA also operates the Jamaica Military Museum and Library housed at Up Park Camp.


UWI vice chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (left) and Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade pose for a photo following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and the Caribbean Military Academy at Up Park Camp in Kingston, yesterday. (Photo: Norman Thomas)