Beginning Sunday, 5 June, military and security forces from Caribbean nations joined the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom for maritime and internal security and disaster response training in Grenada as part of Exercise Tradewinds 2016.
This year’s Exercise Tradewinds will be conducted in 3 phases: Phase I will include maritime and land operations, and will take place in Grenada through 14 June; Phase II will include maritime and land operations, including US Marines, and will take place in Jamaica from 20 to 28 June; Phase III, a Key Leader Seminar, will be conducted 20 to 22 July in Miami for key stakeholders and decision makers from the region.
Exercise Tradewinds supports the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a US Department of State regional security partnership. Phases I and II are designed to conduct joint, interagency capacity building exercises for participating nations. Those exercises focus on increasing regional cooperation in complex, multinational security operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response operations.
“Tradewinds supports US and regional objectives to improve regional security and enables all participants to collaborate and learn from each other,” said Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, Commander of US Southern Command. “Moreover, Tradewinds will have long-lasting benefits to all the participants. More than likely, some of the relationships and friendships forged through this exercise will result in future interactions that will already have a foundation to build upon.”
Military and security personnel from 13 Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states — Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago — will join military personnel from the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom for Phase I of Exercise Tradewinds 2016.
Participating regional organizations include the Regional Security System (RSS), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and Caricom.
In 2017, Tradewinds will be hosted by Barbados.