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    TRADEWINDS 2015: International relationships built from shared knowledge



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Southern Command

    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Levi Read, U.S. Coast Guard 9th District

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts and Nevis – Exercise Tradewinds provides the opportunity for participating nations to improve interoperability and effectively execute future maritime operations while enhancing participating countries’ security stances.

    Improving maritime operations for every country involved in Tradewinds is a key objective for the Caribbean region and its partner nations, the United States and Canada, during the exercise. Tradewinds incorporates both land and maritime components and the U.S. Coast Guard is the maritime component lead for phase one.

    “The goal is partner nation building – building relationships with our Caribbean counter parts to be able to execute missions together and maintain a regional stability here in the Caribbean,” said Lt. Mario Gil, cutter track lead at Tradewinds 2015.

    Professional exchanges during the cutter track components like bridge resource management, maritime law enforcement; damage control, weapons, and first aid help nations gain and build maritime knowledge.

    “The U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy offer expertise in maritime best practices because of resources, but we are also learning from the Caribbean nations,” said Gil.

    “The camaraderie between the Caribbean nations is something to emulate,” said Gil. “The nations are small and the distance between the nations is so small they work together consistently and therefore they work together very well.”

    The Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Glace Bay and ships from Barbados, Dutch Caribbean, Dominican Republic and Guyana navies and coast guard joined the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore in St. Kitts for the collaborative exercise.

    “I have learned how important international relations are because the closer you are in the knowledge of other countries that we always work with, it allows us to know the capabilities that they have when or if we need their help down the road,” said Leading Seaman Freda Fraser, naval combat information operator aboard the HMCS Glace Bay.

    One of the things that the RCN brought down to St. Kitts and Nevis with them is the Hammerhead, a remotely operated boat that pulls a floating target for gunnery exercises, which Frasier operated during the .50 caliber machine gun shoot.

    “The Hammerhead made a big difference in the quality of training received in the gunnery exercise. Without it they are just shooting at whitecaps. We can now go back to Halifax, Nova Scotia and say anytime we work with other nations this is what we should have on board,” said Fraser.

    Members of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard said they enjoyed their experience at Tradewinds and, predictably, really enjoyed the gunnery exercise where they were able to shoot at a target from a mounted .50 caliber machine gun. They also expressed excitement about the knowledge they have gained and look forward to learning experiences.

    “The best part of Tradewinds has been the live fire with the .50 caliber machine gun, but tomorrow is first aid so there is more knowledge for me tomorrow,” said Rudolph Doobay, member of the GDFCG.

    Gil said that other countries have benefitted from our subject matter experts in weapons, law enforcement, bridge management and engineers. U.S. Coast Guard boat mechanics went over to the other nations’ ships and worked with them to conduct preventive maintenance service and also assisted in the repair of equipment.

    “Tradewinds is a great opportunity to get the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean nations together to build relationships, spend time together, and learn from one another,” said Lt. Mario Gil. “I hope we continue doing this as a nation for many years to come.”



    Date Taken: 06.04.2015
    Date Posted: 06.07.2015 07:43
    Story ID: 165773
    Location: BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, KN 
    Hometown: HALIFAX, NS, CA
    Hometown: GEORGETOWN, GY
    Hometown: ST. KITTS, KN
    Hometown: KEY WEST, FL, US
    Hometown: MIAMI, FL, US

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