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    U.S. service members meet local students during Tradewinds 2017

    Florida Army National Guard in Barbados

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Russell | 170607-N-RG360-0205 Florida Army National Guard 2nd lt. Ryan Noblitt, assigned to...... read more read more

    Tradewinds is a joint, combined exercise conducted in conjunction with partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime, and to conduct humanitarian/disaster relief operations.

    Members of the U.S. military and personnel from a number of participating nations spent time teaching the children about military equipment, answering questions, posing for photos and strengthening cultural understanding.

    “I think it’s great to have partner nations come together, especially through this exercise,” said Florida National Guard 2nd Lt. Michael December, of the 1st 185th Assault Helicopter Battalion out of Brooksville, Florida. “We can come together and show each other what we have.”

    The COMREL also gave children the opportunity to see, touch and try on equipment they’ve only seen on TV or learned about in school.

    “This is a rare occasion to come into personal contact with these sorts of assets,” said Capt. Cedric Proverbs, Operations Commander, Special Operations Company, Paragon Base. “Normally they’d just see this on television and it brings that from the screen to real life for these young people. This will remain embedded in their memories. I don’t think they’ll forget it that they were part of this Tradewinds.”

    While a valuable educational opportunity, the COMREL also allowed participants to learn about future career opportunities.

    “I think it’s great. Some students in school are dual citizens and being aware of the different militaries they could join is good,” said Combermere School teacher Dawn Ifill. “Being able to meet people from other countries gives them a wider scope of what they could do.”

    Tradewinds 2017 may already be making an impact on the future. Ifill said one student already told her the event made her decide to join the military and that others may be inspired to join as well.

    “It’s great to show the face of the military to the community. It gives them a feel for the cultural differences and kids just love asking us questions,” said December.



    Date Taken: 06.07.2017
    Date Posted: 06.08.2017 16:00
    Story ID: 236922
    Location: US

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