Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Vivian Brown, has emphasised Jamaica’s commitment to national and regional border security.
He said that this has been demonstrated by policy initiatives undertaken by the Ministry, such as consistent performance in drug seizures and nearly 8,500 arrests made in 2009 for drug related offences, which was a 20 per cent increase over the previous year.
Mr. Brown was speaking Friday (April 23) at the closing ceremony for the ‘Blue Phase’ of the regional border security training programme, ‘Tradewinds (2010)’, at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard base, Port Royal.
He said the 2010 renewal of “Tradewinds” was most welcomed and timely for the region and for Jamaica.
Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Vivian Brown (left), is greeted by Lt. Commander James Rachal, USN, Deputy Chief in the U.S. Military Liaison Office at the US Embassy, at the closing ceremony for the ‘Blue Phase’ of the regional border security training programme, ‘Tradewinds (2010)’, at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard base, Port Royal Friday (April 23).
“This urgent need to protect and secure our borders is heightened by the recognition that the likelihood of infiltration has increased tremendously over the past 20 to 30 years,” Mr. Brown stated.
He noted that organised criminal networks operating in developed countries have thrived on the small states of the Caribbean, countered only by the determined efforts of Governments in the region, and programmes such as “Tradewinds”.
Mr. Brown said, however, that the sovereignty of the smaller states has become increasingly vulnerable in the face of the expanding sophistication and wealth of the criminal underworld.
“As one of the nations that stoutly and steadfastly repudiates criminal activities, in all its forms and facets, Jamaica embraces the assistance the country receives from partners to combat the challenge of border infiltration,” he told the audience of army personnel.
Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Vivian Brown (right), leaving the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard base, Port Royal, in the company of Charges d’Affairs for the United States Embassy, Isiah Parnell (left) and Commander Kenneth Douglas, Commanding Officer of the JDF Coast Guard, following the closing ceremony for the ‘Blue Phase’ of the regional border security training programme, ‘Tradewinds (2010)’ Friday (April 23).
Charged’Affaires at the United States Embassy, Mr. Isiah Parnell, said that given the threat posed by terrorism, as well as natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and more recently the January earthquake in Haiti, it is imperative for law enforcement to keep their skills strong, individually and collectively.
He said “Tradewinds 2010” is one of the opportunities that allow law enforcement personnel to improve their skills, through the ‘Blue Phase’ in Jamaica, which saw 150 participants, and the “Green Phase” in Belize, which saw a total of 16 countries participating.
He said that “Tradewinds” is designed to improve the ability to partner with each other’s networks and learn each other’s habits and cultures.
“There is no one country that has a lock on the training and techniques and procedures that are out there, each have a different way of doing things,” Mr. Parnell said.
“Tradewinds” is the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual exercise conducted in the region, and is designed to improve responses to security threats. This year’s combined inter-agency exercise is being held in Belize (Green Phase) and Jamaica (Blue Phase), April 12-26.
The exercise focuses on maritime interdiction and search and rescue operations, with focus on command and control.
Over 400 marine personnel from the US, the United Kingdom and 17 Caribbean Basin partner nations are participating. “Tradewinds” has been supporting the Caribbean for more than 20 years in both military and civilian disaster-related exercises.