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Offices and Departments

Military Liaison Office (MLO)

Roles, Organization and Missions of the US Military Liaison Office

Mission: US MLO Kingston plans, coordinates and executes Security Assistance and Unified Command programs in support of US foreign and security policy goals in Jamaica.

In order to execute the mission, the US MLO is responsible for:

  1. The planning, coordination and execution of the military Security Assistance Programs, principally:

    • Foreign Military Sales (FMS)

    • International Military Education and Training Program (IMET)

  2. The planning, coordination and support to US Southern Command and JCS programs. Examples are:

    • Counterdrug Support
    • Joint/Combined Exercise Training Program (JCET)
    • Humanitarian Civic Assistance Program (HCA
  3. The coordination of the administrative and logistical support provided to DoD personnel in Jamaica.

Other Support Programs performed by the US MLO are:

  1. Small Terminal Operator: Coordinate ground support for all DoD aircraft landing in Jamaica.

  2. Bimonthly Channel Flight: Provide ground and passenger support for the bimonthly channel flight running between NAS Norfolk, Guantanamo Bay and Kingston.

  3. Denton Amendment Support: Provide coordination between USAID, recipient and DoD transportation officials for Denton Amendment flights.

  4. Medical Support: Coordinate routine medical support for DoD personnel with Naval Station Roosevelt Roads.

  5. Disaster Response:  Provide coordination between OFDA and US South Command for Department of Defence support to disaster preparedness and emergency management.

U.S. Southern Command and JCS Programs

  • JCS Engineering Exercise Program

  • Joint Combined Exercise Training

  • CD Training Support

  • CD Construction Support

  • Military Information Support Team

  • Tradewinds Exercise

  • Caribbean Island Nations Security Conference

  • DOD Disease Surveillance and Reporting System

  • Caribbean Information Sharing

  • Bio-Medical Equipment Repair

  • FA-PKO Seminar

  • FA-Humanitarian Seminar

  • PRANG/JDF Platoon Exchange program

  • Pedro Keys Construction Project

  • Symposium on Defense and Security Issues

  • Symposium on Human Rights

  • Environmental Defense Conference

  • Medical Conference

  • Legal Symposium

  • Communications Conference

  • Engineer Conference

U.S. Military Liaison Officers

  • Senior Defense Officer - LTC Thomas Newman, U.S. Army
  • Deputy Chief - LCDR Christopher Charley-Sale, U.S. Navy
  • Bilateral Affairs Officer - MAJ Mark Escherich, D.C. National Guard
  • Budget Analyst - Theresa Chang
  • Medical Health Specialist - Ms. Anya Cushnie 

Visitor Force Protection Briefing

Visitor Force Protection Briefing) to US Embassy Kingston – Force Protection Plan

  1. General. The USMLO has developed this briefing to ensure that all DoD military and civilian personnel on TDY or leave status within Jamaica, are aware of their responsibility to safeguard against terrorist or criminal activities.
  2. Responsibilities.
    a. All DoD military and civilian personnel on TDY or leave status with location in Kingston and/or Spanish Town, must read and sign the acknowledgement sheet attached to this enclosure(Annex A) and return it to the USMLO Force Protection Officer.
    b. All DoD military and civilian personnel on TDY or leave status with location in Jamaica must inform the USMLO of your intended location (hotel/contact info) and provide updates for significant changes in location.
    c. DoD military personnel on TDY or leave status may not wear military uniforms in public places (i.e., bars, shopping areas) unless involved in official meetings with Jamaican or US counterparts or as part of official functions such as exercises, receptions, or conferences.
  3. Current Threat Levels in Jamaica. The current threat level for Jamaica established by DIA and State Department is LOW for Terrorism and CRITICAL for crime. In the event of a credible terrorist threat notification from HQ USSOUTHCOM, DIA, CIA, RSO or MLO, all DOD personnel will be made aware of the threat through appropriate channels.
  4. Terrorist threat.

    a. There are no known terrorist groups operating in Jamaica at this time, and no known direct targeting of US DOD personnel. However, following the events of September 11, 2001, the possibilities of an attack against US interests abroad have increased. Moreover, overt acts by extremists and terrorists have occurred in the past and should be assumed that they could take place in the future. Vigilance and awareness of your surroundings and environment is crucial to your survival.

  5. Criminal threat. The criminal threat is assessed as CRITICAL. This is the highest category that the criminal threat level can be set. Jamaica ranks amongst THE HIGHEST MURDER RATE IN THE WORLD (Per Capita). Crime is endemic to Kingston. Common criminal activity includes but is not limited to Armed assault/Robbery, burglary, carjacking, kidnapping, rape, and shootings. The use of drugs to subdue an unsuspecting victim is possible. Visitors to Jamaica will likely be aggressively “panhandled” and offered various illegal drugs and activities, especially in tourist areas. Selling or purchasing drugs is illegal in all of Jamaica regardless of what you see or hear from tourists or Jamaicans.1
  6. Kingston and south-west of Mona Reservoir).(5) Neighborhood hills to the west of Montego Bay port.

    Off-limits Areas in Jamaica

    a. All DoD military and civilian personnel on TDY or leave status are prohibited from entering, either on foot or by vehicle, the following listed areas due to high levels of violence. The only exceptions are for DoD personnel performing official business at specific locations or personnel who are on leave and visiting family members - DoD personnel under these exceptions must exercise extreme caution and minimize their time in the below listed areas for their own personal safety.

    1. Downtown Kingston (see Annex B for map of off-limits areas).
    2. West Kingston (see Annex C for map of off-limits areas). Identified by the following boundaries:
    • South East of Hagley Park Road
    • South West of Half Way Tree Road
    • West of Orange Street/Slipe Road
    • North of the downtown areas waters edge

      3. Spanish Town (see Annex D for map of off-limits areas)(located east of Kingston).

      4.Mountain View Avenue (see Annex E for map of off-limit area)(located in east
    Response to a terrorist or criminal attempt against you, your family or a member of
    your group/team:

    (1) Terrorist Attempt:

    • Leave the area immediately.
    • Seek protection at a police station, Jamaica Defence Force Military facility, or the U.S. Embassy.
    • Contact the Regional Security Officer; if after daily hours, contact the Marine Security Guard (702-6055); explain the situation and have him contact the Security Officer.
    • Contact USMLO (702-6017 or 6073).
    • Carefully consider options of fighting back based upon your analysis of terrorist intentions and weaponry

    (2) Criminal Act (Robbery, assaults, etc.):
    • Seek police protection/assistance.
    • Contact the Regional Security Officer; if after duty hours, contact the Marine Security Guard at (702-6055); explain the situation and have him contact the Security Officer.
    • Contact USMLO (702-6017 or 6073).
    • Be prepared to provide police with a description of the crime and of the individuals involved.
    • (3) Demonstration / Political Unrest
    • Avoid areas of unrest and if possible at work place or residing hotel
    • Call Marine Post 1 (702-6055) for updates.
    • Report you location to Chief, USMLO or his representatives.
  7. Taxi Service. Riding on public transportation (buses), or taking unregistered/unregulated taxis is prohibited. Regulated taxicabs are considered a reliable means of transportation. Taxis are normally lined up outside area hotels or you may call any of the following reputable companies:
    • Galaxy Leisure & Tours Ltd (925-4176)
    • Jamaica Union of Travelers Assoc. JUTA (924-8511)
    • City Guide Taxi Service (969-5334)
    • On Time Taxi Service (926-3866)
    • Note: The Department of State Regional Security Office recommends utilizing only the taxis available at hotels.
  8. Driving.
    • Driving is extremely dangerous in Jamaica. If you must drive a rental car, be especially cautious of mopeds and be prepared to have vehicles stop ahead of you anywhere at anytime. Driving at night is discouraged and should only be done if necessary to complete the mission. Driving at night between cities is strongly discouraged. If pulled over by police be courteous and identify yourself as a Military member. If a problem develops beyond your control, contact the US Embassy Marine Guard on duty (876-2-6055) immediately.
    • In addition, road conditions vary from good to decrepit and rundown. Drivers can be very aggressive and normal road courtesies and rules do not apply. Caution must also be observed while driving out of the major population areas. Mountain roads are not designed for the size of today’s vehicles. Cargo trucks and busses have a tendency to drive on both sides of the roadways.
  9. Medical Assistance. Adequate medical care for U.S. personnel in Kingston is available at two hospitals: Andrews Memorial Hospital (926-7401) and University Hospital Mona (927-1620-9. Both have 24-hour emergency room operations. In some instances, the Jamaica Defence Force is able to provide medical care.
  10. USSOUTHCOM Drinking Policy. IAW USSOUTHCOM Alcohol Policy which states- “Consumption of alcohol is prohibited for all personnel assigned to units deployed from their home station in CONUS or Puerto Rico to the USSOUTHCOM AOR while on operations or exercise.” This policy does not apply to individuals or groups, not defined as a unit, who are deployed to the USSOUTHCOM AOR for official leave or temporary duty (TDY), or for permanent party personnel (PCS) in theater.
  11. Curfew. None until further notice. Travel after dark outside of Kingston is extremely dangerous and not recommended – especially to or from Kingston to the North Coast.
  12. Leave/Pass Procedures. Any TDY personnel in country that returns to CONUS for leave will notify the CHUSMLO within a reasonable amount of time. TDY personnel traveling outside of their designated area of operation/training while in Jamaica will notify the CHUSMLO or his designated representative for approval.
  13. Transportation. Official vehicles may be used for domicile to duty transportation. All Deployments for Training (DFTs) and TDY personnel will have a Jamaica Defense Force military escort whenever possible when convoying to and from training sites. For those vehicles used for domicile to duty, the assigned driver should conduct proper security and maintenance checks prior to daily usage.
  14. Contingency Plans. See RSO Emergency Action Plan (EAP). All DFTs will have written and rehearsed MEDEVAC and Force Protection plans that are applicable to their area of operation and IAW their unit/branch regulations and requirements. MEDEVAC plans will include both military and civilian means of evacuation and care. Evacuation plans will cover primary, alternate and contingency means of evacuation by land and air.
  15.  Physical Security Plans
    • Forward Base Camp. Any large military deployments to Jamaica that require a forward base camp will use the SOUTHCOM Force Protection Template as a guide.
    • Project Site. Any large military deployments to Jamaica that require a project site will use the SOUTHCOM Force Protection Template as a guide.
    • Aircraft Facilities. Security for U.S. military aircraft will be coordinated through the USMLO, the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing, and the crew. Aircraft security measures will be conducted IAW applicable Service Regulations and Guidance. Coordination will be made through the USMLO to procure additional military security for the aircraft and its contents if necessary.
    • Type: C-5, C-141, KC-135, CASA 212, C-130, and any other fixed or rotary wing aircraft.
    • Location: JDF Air wing and Norman Manley Airport.
    • Protective Barriers: A single strand fence borders the entire airport.
    • Protective Lighting: Standard security lighting.
  16. Arms. DOD personnel on TDY or leave in Jamaica are NOT authorized to maintain or carry firearms without prior approval in writing of the CHUSMLO and the RSO and having been issued a temporary weapon permit from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). No arms are allowed to be brought into Jamaica, unless for official duty that is pre-coordinated through the USMLO. A Diplomatic Note through Jamaican Ministries is required – with 3 weeks advanced notice. 5
    Annex A (Acknowledgment) to ENCLOSURE 3 (Force Protection