News: US, Canada, 15 Caribbean nations gather in Barbados for Tradewinds 2012
By Sgt. Rocco DeFilippis
CHRIST CHURCH, Barbados – Coast Guard, law enforcement and military ground forces from the U.S., Canada and 15 Caribbean Partner Nations, gathered here today to mark the official start of Exercise Tradewinds 2012.
The ceremony featured welcoming comments and remarks from senior Barbadian and U.S. military officers focusing on the importance of the 28th iteration of the annual event.
“Over the years, Exercise Tradewinds has been recognized as an ideal training framework for improving cooperation and interoperability among partner nations in the efforts to counter the myriad security and other challenges confronting this hemisphere,” said Barbados Defence Force Chief of Staff Col. Alvin E. Quintyne.
Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved, inter-agency, multinational exercise designed to enhance the collective abilities of Caribbean Partner Nation Defense Forces and constabularies to Counter Transnational Organized Crime, and conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.
The exercise features U.S. personnel from the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Joint-interagency Task Force-South, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation working and training along with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System and military and law enforcement personnel from: Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The exercise is intended to improve cooperation and interoperability between partner nations in responding to regional security threats, exercise the ability to conduct counter transnational threat operations and maritime interdiction, and provide an operational and tactical-level regional training venue for participating nations to exercise core skills in support of stability operations.
“Tradewinds not only promotes joint and combined interoperability in maritime and land operations — but also enhances future collaboration on shared security concerns,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael R. Ramos, U. S. Marine Corps Forces, South chief of staff. “Everything we do, we do with the idea of fostering shared domain awareness and improved execution of security responsibilities going forward. “
Tradewinds will focus on strengthening existing regional partnerships and encouraging the establishment of new relationships through the exchange of mission-focused knowledge and expertise so each participating country will improve capabilities in what it considers key security mission areas.
This year’s exercise marks the first time a Tradewinds host nation’s National Emergency Operation Center and Joint Operation Center have joined together with the Caribbean Community/Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Regional Security System and U.S. military and law enforcement agencies to conduct the exercise.
From June 15-24, the Tradewinds participants will engage in three main areas of training: ground, maritime and a command post exercise. Some of the ground and maritime training will include improvised explosive device recognition, search and rescue operations, countering transnational organized crime, interdiction at sea, small arms, non-lethal weapons, dive operations and human rights awareness.