CMMTC History

Mission
To provide professional military maritime training to the Caribbean region through partnership

The Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre (CMMTC) is a product of military cooperation between Canada and Jamaica.  During a visit to the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (JDF CG) by the Canadian Cheif of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynezyk in March 2009, it was highlighted that there is a gap in the region's capacity to generate military maritime training. General Natynezyk instructed the Directorate of Military Training andn Cooperation (DMTC) to work with the JDF to establish this capability in the region, in a similar manner as the Jamaica Military Aviaton School (JMAS).

The Caribbean Military Maritime Training Center (CMMTC) was born from the collaborative Canadian/Jamaican partnership and is dedicated to the training of regional military and law enforcement forces to the common international standard. The CMMTC has enabled the JDF and her partner nations to deliver, sustain and standardize the necessary professional maritime training across the region and will act as a Center of Excellence for military and law enforcement training in the Caribbean. Through training, the region will be better able to secure its borders and respond to the regional security requirement, bolstered by the confidence of operational commonality.

It was opened on the 27 June 2012 by Honourable Peter Mackay (Minister of National Defence, Canada) and Honourable Peter Bunting (Minister of National Security, Jamaica). The centre is dedicated to the training of regional maritime and law enforcement agencies to a common international standard.

Location
The school is located onboard HMJS CAGWAY which also is the current location of the Headquarters Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard. CAGWAY is situated at the end of the Palisadoes penninsula and borders the town of Port Royal and the historic Fort Charles.

Port Royal is a town on the southern coast of Jamaica. It was originally colonized by the Spanish, but was attacked and captured by the English in 1655. Because of its good natural harbor and key position, Port Royal quickly became a major haven for pirates and buccaneers. Port Royal was devastated by an earthquake in 1692 .

After the capture of Jamaica by the English in 1655 the administrators of the town were concerned that the Spanish could re-take Jamaica. 

 

Fort Charles on the harbour was operational and formidable, and there were four other smaller forts spread around the town, but ther was little manpower to truely defend the city in the event of an attack.They began inviting pirates and buccaneers to come and set up shop there, thus assuring that there would be a constant supply of ships and veteran fighting men on hand. It soon became apparent that Port Royal was the perfect place for pirates and privateers. It had a great deepwater natural harbor for protecting ships at anchor and it was close to Spanish shipping lanes and ports. Once it started to gain fame as a pirate haven, the town quickly changed: it filled up with brothels, taverns and drinking halls.

Before long, Port Royal was the busiest port in the Americas, largely run and operated by pirates and buccaneers. Port Royal soon became a trading center for slaves, sugar and raw materials such as wood. Smuggling boomed as Spanish ports in the New World were officially closed to foreigners but represented a huge market for African slaves and goods manufactured in Europe. By 1690, Port Royal was as large and important a town as Boston and many of the local merchants were quite wealthy.

It all came crashing down on June 7, 1692 when a massive earthquake shook Port Royal, dumping most of it into the harbor. An estimated 5,000 died in the earthquake or shortly thereafter of injuries or disease. Looting was rampant and, for a time, all order broke down. Many thought that the city had been singled out for punishment by God for its wickedness. An effort was made to rebuild the city, but it was devastated once again in 1703 by a fire.

It was repeatedly hit by hurricanes and even more earthquakes in following years and, by 1774, it was essentially a quiet village. Today, Port Royal is a small Jamaican coastal fishing village. It retains very little of its former glory. Some old buildings are still intact and it’s worth a trip for history buffs. It is a valuable archaeological site, however, and digs in the old harbor continue to turn up interesting items.