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New AUTEC agreement signed

  • DPM Brent Symonette and U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant signed a new AUTEC agreement on Thursday.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Nov 02, 2011

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette and U.S Ambassador to The Bahamas Nicole Avant signed an agreement on Wednesday that extends the lease of The Atlantic Underwater Testing and Evaluation Center (AUTEC).

The agreement, which was signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Goodman's Bay Corporate Center, allows AUTEC to operate from its base in Fresh Creek, Andros, for the next five years.

According to AUTEC, its research facility provides precise three-dimensional in-water and in-air tracking range, in both deep and shallow environments. In addition, AUTEC facilitates remote and portable real-time range display systems and software, extensive data reduction and data processing systems and facilities, and exercises weapon and test vehicle post-run and turnaround capabilities, among a number of other programs and initiatives.

The deputy prime minister said that the government does not always agree with all the positions of the U.S. government, maintaining the right to sovereignty. However, Symonette thanked Avant for the ongoing efforts by the U.S government to continue such agreements.

"We are very grateful for the work the United States government does with The Bahamas," Symonette said. "We have a whole array of agreements for a mutual benefit over the years."

AUTEC's facility is located in Andros because of its close proximity to the Tongue of the Ocean, a unique deep-water basin approximately 204 kilometers long and 37 kilometers wide, varying in depth from 1.4 to two kilometers, according to the facility's website.

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