Some of the military personnel who participated in Exercise Tradewinds. (FP)??

This region’s law enforcement and military personnel are now in a better position to safeguard our borders, thanks to the recent staging of Exercise Tradewinds.

This was underscored by Permanent Secretary in the Division of Defence and Security of the Prime Minister’s Office, Edison Alleyne, as he addressed the closing ceremony of the exercise yesterday at the Headquarters of the Barbados Coast Guard at HMBS Pelican.

Describing the 10-day training operation as "interesting, relevant, progressive and challenging", Mr. Alleyne noted that those who participated would now be better equipped to return to their jobs and to function more efficiently and effectively.

"It is indeed heartening to me that the spirit of collaboration and partnership is alive and that it has characterised all aspects of Exercise Tradewinds. This… certainly brings to a close a military and law enforcement training exercise which has long been acknowledged as a vehicle for achieving the operational and security goals of this region and the hemisphere," he added.

The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the process of securing the region should be ongoing, and expressed the hope that the participants would pass on the knowledge gained during the exercise to their colleagues.

He told them that by sharing their wisdom they would be playing their part in the process of "building capacity and capability among military and law enforcement practitioners in the Caribbean".

"The origins to our safety and security will not go away, it is, therefore, critically important that such training initiatives should continue…if as a region we are to reach a satisfactory standard in our ongoing quest to be better able to take care of our most pressing security needs," he said.

In his remarks, Director of Exercise, United States Marine Corps Forces South, Colonel Augustin Bolanio, expressed thanks to the Government and people of Barbados and the Barbados Defence Force for hosting such an operation.

"This successful exercise is due and is the culmination of many months of hard work, weeks of planning and excellent cooperation from many dedicated professionals across our nations. We are truly united through our collaborative and collective efforts to fight terrorism, illicit trafficking, and transnational crime in all of its forms and being prepared to effectively respond to natural disasters," he said.

He continued: "Over the years, [Exercise] Tradewinds has become an important multinational exercise bringing together countries and security forces of the Caribbean in a shared commitment to improving responses to regional security threats and to focus on maritime interdiction, search and rescue operations, basic security forces and law enforcement tactics, techniques and procedures with an emphasis on command and control.

"The longevity and continued growth of this exercise is a testament to the region’s shared commitment to improving cooperation and security within our region. Tradewinds also provided a unique opportunity to learn from each other, to share insights and to find new avenues of cooperation."

Over 500 law and military personnel from 17 countries took part in the initiative, which was sponsored by the United States Southern Command and the United States Marine Corps Forces South.

During the closing ceremony each participating nation received a commemorative plaque.


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