Today, perhaps more than ever, countries large and small are facing the threat from transnational crime, and the islands of the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable because of their geographical location.

Against this backdrop, Barbados will play host to Exercise Tradewinds, from June 15 to 24. It is expected that some 17 nations will participate, including all Regional Security System (RSS) member states. They are: Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Dominica, as well as the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Canada.

The Exercise will get under way this Friday, June 15, with an opening ceremony at the Barbados Defence Force base in Paragon, Christ Church, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Now in its 28th year, it is sponsored by the United States Southern Command (US SOUTHCOM) and United States Marine Forces South (MARSOUTH). It is an annual exercise that is designed to improve the cooperation and regional interoperability of partner nations in responding to a broad spectrum of security threats. Barbados last hosted such an event in 2003.

Over 400 military and law enforcement personnel will be coming to Barbados for the duration of Exercise Tradewinds. Contingents will receive support from Canada Land Force Atlantic Area Headquarters; the 23rd Marine Regiment; the United States Coast Guard, US Army (SOUTH, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); US Air Force (SOUTH, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); the Federal Bureau of

Investigation (FBI, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Joint Coalition Warfighting Centre and the Joint Inter Agency Task Force (SOUTH).

According to Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Colonel Alvin Quintyne, it is designed to ensure, "that the tip of Barbados’ operational spear remains sharpened and ever prepared to defend and protect the safety and security of the State and its citizens".????

Colonel Quintyne surmised that as a result of the growing sophistication of today’s criminals, it was important that law enforcement and other security agencies tried to "stay ahead and on top of security challenges and strive earnestly and resolutely to practise and perfect their tactical and operational skills".??

Colonel Ricardo Vickers, shows gratitude and welcomes, Vessel Master, Chief Warrant Officer 2, Paula Buckley (both shaking hands) and Mate on Ship, Sargeant First Class, Benjamin Threatt from the US Military while Captain Wesley Beckles watches; today, at the Harbour, upon receipt of equipment for Exercise Tradewinds 2012. (FP)??(A.Miller/BGIS)??

He disclosed that the nature and scope of the exercise would not be focused on conventional warfare scenarios. This means that troops will not be venturing into districts to carry out training manoeuvres.

In addition, Commander United States Marine Corps Forces South, Major General John Croley, said: "There are criminal organisations that are worldwide that have no respect for our borders [or] sovereignty of our individual nations. And, that is a Coalition effort that we must continue to counter because there is trafficking out there… and we must be prepared for that threat as well."

Exercise Tradewinds will have three main segments: land- ground force, tactical military/law enforcement; maritime – combatting transnational organised crime; and command and control – command Post/Table Exercise and Command and intelligence training.

Local law enforcement personnel will be trained in security operations with teams from the FBI and the Naval Investigative Service. They will conduct sessions on case management and hostage negotiation, among the subject areas.

Special emphasis will also be placed on emergency management preparation and local agencies will receive specialised training in this area. They are: The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Emergency Management, the Barbados Ambulance Service, the Barbados Fire Service and the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Exercise Tradewinds co-director, Lt. Col. Ricardo Vickers, explained that the Barbados National Emergency Operations Centre would be assessed during the command post exercise. He disclosed that members of the Canadian forces would be providing intelligence training for this particular segment.

He further added: "We are expecting a Coast Guard vessel from the Trinidad navy, the St. Lucian Coast Guard, the Dominican Republic navy, and the US Coast Guard will, of course, be sending a number of vessels to support the exercise." He noted that no "aerial assets (aircraft) would be deployed for the exercise".

As far as supplies and equipment are concerned, he said that approximately seven or eight vehicles had arrived on the island aboard the Landing Craft Unit the US Brandy Station last week along with mobile kitchens, laundry and shower facilities.

Exercise Tradewinds 2012, has as its theme: Promoting Regional and Hemispheric Security and Stability.


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