JIS News

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  • Participants in the Exercise Tradewinds maritime and ground security training exercise rate this year’s renewal as one of the best.
  • Over 1,700 military personnel from the 17 countries involved are participating in the US Southern Command (US SOUTHCOMM)-led regional programme, being undertaken in three phases in Grenada, Jamaica and the United States.
  • “So, it’s significantly larger than previous Tradewinds, and it definitely is a credit to the Jamaica Defence Force for being so integrally involved in planning and contributing to the exercise,” he added.

Participants in the Exercise Tradewinds maritime and ground security training exercise rate this year’s renewal as one of the best.

Local Planner for the United States (US) Marine Forces Southern Command, Captain Bradley Roensch, and Director of the Canadian contingent, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kerber, say this year’s attendance represents the largest within the last 10 years.

Over 1,700 military personnel from the 17 countries involved are participating in the US Southern Command (US SOUTHCOMM)-led regional programme, being undertaken in three phases in Grenada, Jamaica and the United States.

The officers were speaking with journalists during a media tour of Exercise Tradewinds’ second phase at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) headquarters at Up Park Camp in Kingston, on Wednesday, June 22.

Captain Roensch said nearly 600 of the group are participating in the ground security aspect, doubling the figure for last year.

“So, it’s significantly larger than previous Tradewinds, and it definitely is a credit to the Jamaica Defence Force for being so integrally involved in planning and contributing to the exercise,” he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Kerber, who echoed similar sentiments, highlighted improvements, particularly in the maritime component, where he said more focus is being placed this year on team diving as part of activities to counter transnational organised crime.

“We are trying to build on the experiences of the last few years in order to strengthen the capacity to really deal with this issue in a multinational way. The ability to interact and work with each other will help to make us a much more effective and responsive region,” he added.

Lead Planning Officer for Phase Two, Lieutenant Colonel Mahatma Williams of the JDF, said the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) has dispatched teams to observe how the training is being conducted.

“They will measure the standards against the objectives for each training component, from which they will generate a report that will include recommendations for improvements, where needed, for submission and discussion at the leadership seminar to be held next month in Miami, Florida,” he noted.

During the tour, journalists got an opportunity to see participants execute military demonstrations in search, rescue and extraction as well as counter-transnational organised procedures.

Visitors also got a chance to see operations in the central command centre.

More than 1,300 military and police personnel from the Caribbean, United States, Britain, Canada, France and Mexico are participating in Phase Two, which ends on June 28.

The first phase, which was conducted in Grenada from June 5 to 14, focused on the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

The leadership seminar in Miami (Phase Three), will be conducted from July 19 to 21.

Exercise Tradewinds, which commenced in 1996, is an annual activity aimed at strengthening the capacity of defence forces and constabularies across the region to counter transnational crime and conduct humanitarian/disaster relief operations, among other engagements.

It supports the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and Central American Region Security Initiative (CARSI).