The airplane that was initially bought to be used for Barbuda Airways, but later given to the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), has been commissioned.
In a press release, the ABDF reports that it commissioned its newest unit, ABDF AIRWING, and aircraft, ALPHA 1 on Tuesday, April 12.
According to the ABDF, “This newest unit expands the capabilities of the force in providing security and support services to the nation.”
The small nine-seat aircraft now enables the Force to offer aerial support in Disaster/Emergency Response, Search and Rescue Support, Medevac, and Maritime Space Surveillance.
Speaking of recent successes, the ABDF says that operations included a recent Medevac from Barbuda of a COVID 19 patient who was in severe distress and could not be quickly extracted to Antigua via sea.
It was noted that the complete round trip, which included pick up of the patient by ambulance in Antigua, took less than 45 minutes in total.
The short ceremony was attended by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, Minister of Aviation Sir Robin Yearwood, and other guests from local and regional partners.
The event culminated with a flyby of the aircraft and reception.
ABDF Airwing’s motto is “Sparing Nothing, Giving ALL”.