As economies across the globe continue to contract, navies, armies, and air forces are being told, if not, “do more with less” to at least “do the same with less.” Proceedings thus asked sea-service commanders around the world: What innovative efficiencies and economies are you implementing, or considering implementing, to improve force readiness?
Lieutenant Colonel Marino Acton
In this era our navy has a responsibility to do its job more efficiently and more economically while making use of the latest technology and equipment available for maritime operations, such as satellites, computers, and global positioning systems. Modern technology of that type would make patrolling areas where there is a high risk of illegal activities more efficient, allowing us to pinpoint suspicious vessels and activities at sea rather than randomly patrolling coastal waters, wasting both fuel and human resources.
To realize those requires the costly investment in the appropriate technology, but another option is collaboration and cooperation with friendly nations in joint patrols and training. Upgrading our fleet with much faster patrol boats, and eventually doing reconnaissance with drone technology would increase our efficiency in detecting and apprehending illegal vessels considerably, even along the large expanse of Suriname’s coastline. In addition to the technology a strategic plan of action would be necessary for executing such operations.
An important consideration, of course, is that measures to improve the security of territorial waters not only will cost more, but also will indirectly affect the nation’s economy. The key to an efficient military—and to increasing force readiness—is practical training in real-life situations. Augmenting that training with the latest in technology and having a solid maintenance plan for all equipment are necessary to guarantee the effectiveness and readiness of the military at all times.
In the short term, then, the investment required to bring all the needed elements together would be very expensive. But if we look to the long run, putting an end to—or significantly reducing—illegal fishing, dumping, smuggling, and other illicit activities would mean increased revenue for the government, a safer maritime environment, and greater productivity.