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    SOF partnership converges in the Caribbean

    SOF Partners Converge in the Caribbean

    Photo By Maj. Cesar H. Santiago | U.S. Army Special Operations Forces assigned to Special Operations Command South...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Cesar H. Santiago 

    Special Operations Command South

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – U.S. Special Operations Forces assigned to Special Operations Command South trained with Trinidad and Tobago Defense Forces, Police Services and their Coast Guard as part of a Joint Combined Exchange Training exercise focused on maneuver warfare, marksmanship, counter terrorism, tactical military techniques and maritime operations from Sept. 20-27, 2016 throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

    The training increases USSOF’s proficiency in the areas of mentorship, instruction and advisory roles, and improves cultural and regional understanding and trust between American and Trinidadian and Tobagonian elite forces.

    “Training exchanges are important to SOF forces – host nation and ours alike," said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Leo Skinner, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). “JCETs assist in confirming the validity and credibility of our special operators while fostering enduring relationships that offers greater synchronization for future training opportunities.”

    SOCSOUTH, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago and the TTDF, routinely collaborate to provide opportunities for USSOF to train and test their interoperability and abilities to build effective teams and form long-lasting partnerships with partner nation forces.

    JCETs allow American special operations units to train and hone their military tactics and skills in unfamiliar settings while also improving bilateral relations and shared goals in support of U.S. Southern Command throughout the training process of both partner nations.

    “The training opens the doors for relationships that will benefit all parties involved, while exposing them to cultural nuances that develop critical thinking skills and force adaptability to be implemented into planning and training,” said Skinner, the country’s SOCSOUTH Special Operations Forces Liaison Officer.

    For that reason, SOCSOUTH planners together with TTDF, which are an important leader in defense and security in the Caribbean, coordinated the training to be in urban, rural, and littoral areas. The training validated the commitment of both partner nations to improve their respective SOF unit’s overall mission readiness and has a positive impact on partner nation security forces.

    The two-week long JCET culminated with a series of challenging simulated training scenarios.

    U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment MH-60 Blackhawk helicopters transported combined force members, while ground units provided security and Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard patrol vessels and high-speed boats provided maritime support during the culmination training exercise.

    “The most significant benefit to the JCET is exposure to alternative training applications and use of specific skill sets. This training allows each group to evaluate specific practices and allows each group to analyze and evaluate whether or not adaptation occurs,” said Skinner.

    In addition, TTDF’s Special Naval Unit along with members of Naval Special Warfare assigned to SOCSOUTH exchanged best practices during a portion of the culminating exercise that involved boarding a maritime vessel located off the northwest coast of Trinidad and Tobago. The exercise allowed these units to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures during a simulated search and seizure mission using special team boats while integrating Army aviation assets.

    “I think what the teams have been able to accomplish, the collaboration and the training that took place during the JCET not only help us to fulfill training requirements, but strengthen collective security efforts,” said a U.S. Naval Special Warfare officer.

    The overall training also focused on mission planning and coordination and validated the effectiveness of the training received in areas of marksmanship, rappelling, fast-roping, and various tactical maneuvers – both on land and sea.

    The culmination exercise was observed by SOCSOUTH and USSOUTHCOM senior military leadership, Trinidad and Tobago DF and Coast Guard officials, civilian personnel from the embassy and Security Cooperation office, and local news members.

    SOCSOUTH plans, directs, and executes special operations missions throughout Central America, South America, & the Caribbean to achieve operational & strategic objectives in support of Commander, USSOUTHCOM.



    Date Taken: 09.27.2016
    Date Posted: 10.06.2016 12:35
    Story ID: 211434
    Location: PORT-OF-SPAIN, TT 

    Web Views: 976
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