|From left: Commander of the US Marine Forces South, Major General, John Croley; and United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Larry Palmer, listen as Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, addresses the media. (S. St. Hill/BGIS)??|
When the curtain comes down on Exercise Tradewinds 2012 this weekend, the overall objective of sharpening the skills and tactical responses to various scenarios and conducting humanitarian assistance during disaster relief operations would have been achieved.
Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, in noting the progress of the security training exercise, said: "I am very satisfied thus far and I have no doubt that by the end of the exercise that we would have achieved all of the objectives that were set for Exercise Tradewinds 2012."
Speaking to the media following of the launch of the Distinguished Visitors Programme at Hilton Barbados today, the Chief of Staff also mentioned the use of scenarios as a major tool to test the response of the various agencies involved in the exercise.
When asked if there were any missteps along the way in responding to the various scenarios being played out, Colonel Quintyne stressed: "I am not aware of any, but missteps, in my opinion, would not be a bad thing.?? As we make errors we learn from them so that when the time comes for us to respond in a coordinated manner we would, hopefully, have learnt from those mistakes."
He further stated: "It is best to learn now rather than when the event has taken place because in the final analysis, the people, whether they are from Barbados or another part of the region, they expect law enforcement, the military and the other services to respond in their interest.?? So, it is very important to make the mistakes on this side of the event."
Meanwhile, Commander of the US Marine Forces South, Major General, John Croley, said he was impressed with the response of the personnel from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) since the training had been operationalised for the first time between CDEMA and the Regional Security System.
"We pull apart the parts of our organisations which we think needed to be developed and this gives us an opportunity to focus on some of the strengths and the shortfalls and where we need to balance our capabilities…," he added.
Also attending this morning’s events was United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Larry Palmer who said Exercise Tradewinds provided the opportunity for him to meet the major players of the various military organisations here.
"This opportunity has given both our militaries a chance to practise and hone their skills, so that in the event of a natural disaster, they would be in a position to respond".
During the launch of the programme, the distinguished visitors were given an in- brief of the training exercise which involved an overview of Exercise Tradewinds, ground operations training and the humanitarian assistance operations.
The day-long event allowed the participants the opportunity to network and hold discussions on security issues that are common to the region.