|Chief-of-Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne (FP)|
Preparatory work for Exercise Tradewinds 2012, scheduled to run from June 15 to 24 in Barbados, is progressing well, with construction work completed on three local facilities.
A 27-member contingent from Canada, led by Operations Officer, Lieutenant Steph Laplante, was on the island carrying out the construction work, which included repairs, refurbishments and improvements to the Coast Guard’s headquarters at HMBS Pelican, Spring Garden, St. Michael and the Regional Police Training Centre and the Paragon Base, both in Christ Church.
Chief-of-Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, said he was satisfied with the preparatory work carried out so far for Tradewinds, hailing it as a success.
Speaking during a closing ceremony for the Tradewinds 2012 construction projects yesterday at HMBS Pelican, he thanked the governments of the United States and Canada for their financial support and the provision of technical expertise.
Colonel Quintyne added that the improved facilities would prove beneficial to Barbados’ military and paramilitary forces as well as local youth in the long-term.
"Quite a lot has been done in a short space of time and this achievement is due in no small measure to the sterling work of the dedicated engineers. These efforts are truly appreciated not only by the Barbados Defence Force but by the Royal Barbados Police Force.
"Apart from the benefits to be derived from these projects by the troops participating in Exercise Tradewinds 2012, the work undertaken at the youth campsite at Paragon will, most certainly, redound to the benefit of the youth of Barbados. The campsite is used predominately by the Barbados Cadet Corps and by members of the Barbados Youth Service…the refurbishments I am sure will enhance the quality of life for the cadets, youth service personnel and members of other youth groups," the Chief-of-Staff pointed out.
Commanding Officer of the Barbados Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Neville Springer maintained the importance of collaborative military exercises such as Tradewinds to the region.
"The security of Barbados and this region cannot be underscored [enough]. The geographical architecture of this region, characterised by a vast area of water [and] punctuated by an archipelago, make it difficult for security forces within the region to police against the scourge of illegal narcotics and other illicit trafficking activities. In addition, the period of June to October each year presents the region with the threat of the hazards associated with hurricanes…"
He, therefore, welcomed the opportunity for regional forces to work with their North American neighbours to build capacity in the fight against illegal trafficking.
Exercise Tradewinds is an annual Caribbean security forces joint training initiative. It seeks to improve cooperation between the military forces from North America and the Caribbean in dealing with regional security threats and illicit activity such as drug, arms and human trafficking.