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    Covington teacher participates in Caribbean exercise Tradewinds

    Covington teacher participates in Caribbean exercise Tradewinds

    Photo By Sgt. Renee Seruntine | Louisiana National Guardsmen 1st Sgt. Paul Meeker (left) and Staff Sgt. Josiah Pugh...... read more read more

    By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados– Louisiana Army National Guard 1st Sgt. Paul Meeker, a public affairs chief and the senior enlisted advisor of the 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD) and a resident Covington, Louisiana, is closing out his tenure with his long-time unit by participating in Tradewinds 2017, an annual, multi-national exercise in the Caribbean Sea, with five other MPAD Guardsmen, June 6-17.

    Meeker, a 28-year veteran, joined 2,500 other service members from 20 countries in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, June 6-17. In addition to this year’s Tradewinds, Meeker has been overseas for the military four other times; he has served two wartime deployments, one to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and one to Iraq; one other training mission to Belize; and one humanitarian mission to Haiti.

    Tradewinds, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, Florida, is a joint and combined exercise conducted in conjunction with partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and terrorism, and to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

    During the Caribbean-focused exercise, Meeker, a 1977 graduate of Crockett High School in Austin, Texas, photographed and wrote stories about service members who participated in Tradewinds on Barbados in addition to acting as a guiding light for his own Soldiers covering the event.

    “I return from all of these [overseas missions] with a profound sense of gratitude and love for those whom I serve with,” Meeker said near the end of the exercise, “and definite pride in that as a leader, I see my troops take what I know and share, add their drive and creativity, and make the end result better than I could have imagined. When that happens, I know I’ve done my job to the best of my abilities.”

    Partner nations participating in the exercise include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago as well as military personnel from the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.



    Date Taken: 06.14.2017
    Date Posted: 06.14.2017 11:19
    Story ID: 237832
    Location: BB
    Hometown: COVINGTON, LA, US

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