RSS Official: Caribbean Exercise Needed

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Director of Operations and Training with the Regional Security System, Commander Tyrone James, speaking to the media at the press conference, while Technical Manager of CDEMA,??General Earl Arthurs. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

In the event of a natural disaster or hazard, a Caribbean simulation exercise is needed to test each territory’s response, limitations and resources, in order to evaluate if the region is fully equipped and prepared to handle such circumstances.

This assertion was made by Director of Operations and Training at the Regional Security System (RSS), Commander Tyrone James, who stated that such an exercise would redound to the benefit of the region "because, in a real situation when the event impacts us, we would be looking to our Caribbean neighbours for support, and it’s only after that [occurs that] we would get the support of the United States… So, what we really need at this point in time is a Caribbean exercise where we test our response within our limitations," the Commander said.

??The RSS official was speaking at the Department of Emergency Management’s Warrens headquarters last Saturday morning during a press briefing about the role and benefits derived from participating in this year’s Exercise Tradewinds.

Stating that while the training initiative was beneficial as participants learnt "a lot in terms of structure and technology," the Commander noted that they "would not have their United States counterparts at their ???beck and call’ in the eventuality that something actually did happen.

"So, we need a Caribbean exercise.?? We need the large and small islands to get together …it should have a natural throwback at the national level before we look at a regional Caribbean exercise.??

We should be having national exercises, testing our responses within our countries, testing our respective agencies because it’s only when we build from the ground up that we can have a resilient structure… but if we concentrate on Tradewinds as the exercise for the region all we have is a bit of superstructure without the supporting raw mechanisms," Commander James reiterated, while adding that he considered the Tradewinds exercise to be a "success, because it tested our capabilities, our systems and structures and once we identified the shortcomings in these areas, once we identify suggestions and recommendations to improve them; we had a successful exercise."

Exercise Tradewinds kicked off on Friday, June 15, with a formal opening ceremony and concluded with a closing ceremony on Sunday, June 24.

It is a combined military exercise involving approximately 540 personnel from the United States, Canada, the region and Barbados.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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