By Capt Mitchell Hargreaves, Design Officer and Capt Vincent Boivin, QA/QC Officer
Canada’s security being inseparably related to that of other states, it is in our interest to support other countries with training, funding, equipment, technical and legal assistance. Consequently, in 2014, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) funded what would become the Caribbean Special Tactics Center (CSTC) as part of its Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP) and the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP). The state-of-the-art facility was envisioned and developed in concert with CANSOFCOM and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to provide a training venue capable of hosting a large number of Special Operations Forces (SOF) members from around the Caribbean.
Situated in Moneague, Jamaica, the two-storey building provides over 7000 square feet of classroom, office and accommodation space, as well as an outdoor training yard. Designed by 1 Engineer Support Unit (1 ESU), the building provides its users a spacious and functional training space with a structural system capable of resisting Category four hurricanes and regional seismic events, ergo constructed using over 10,000 concrete masonry units and 200 cubic meters of reinforced concrete.
The focal point of the building is the classroom, which is centered on the ground floor and is most accessible. The two floor design provides a separation of the training and living areas. Quarters on the second floor can look upon the training area and the farmland to the south from an appreciable vantage point. Adjacent trees and overhanging rooftop cantilevers provide shade and naturally cool the building in the hot Jamaican climate.
Conscious that local Jamaican building codes differ from those in Canada, 1 ESU managed competing demands for Canadian and Jamaican legal compliance. The detailed architectural, structural and mechanical design package provided the construction contractor a clear plan, enhanced by quality control and assurance (QA/QC) visits by 1 ESU’s deployable subject matter experts (SMEs).
The JDF’s 1 Engineer Regiment, comparable to the CAF’s 1 ESU, worked closely with the SMEs throughout the design and construction process. From the initial concept to the final commissioning, the JDF provided review services and site control. Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) oversaw all contract administration work and liaised between 1 ESU, JDF and the local general contractor, M&M Construction.
The collaboration between stakeholders in both Canada and Jamaica has realized an ambitious vision with the completion of a facility deeply appreciated by the JDF and well-integrated into the existing landscape.