Four officers and 30 Other Ranks from the 1st and 2nd Infantry Battalions, Coast Guard, and Defence Headquarters will participate in EXCERCISE TRADEWINDS, which will be held in Antigua and Barbuda over the period March 1 to March 20.
The Guyanese contingent will go to join military personnel from the United States and 20 other countries for the major military operation in the region.
Guyana’s contingent, which will be led by Captain Rawle Stephens, will depart today via LIAT airlines, and will be involved in two weeks of preparatory training in Law Enforcement, Disaster Relief Operations and Coast Guard Operations.
According to a press release from the Guyana Defence Force, EXCERCISE TRADEWINDS will then culminate with a one-week exercise involving all participants.
The exercise is meant to test the tactics, techniques, and procedures learnt during the preparatory training.
This year the GDF Coast Guard’s flagship vessel, GDFS Essequibo, would not be part of the exercise.
On a previous exercise, the GDF faced major embarrassment when one of its ranks was implicated in the trafficking of a large quantity of marijuana which was found aboard its vessel.
Planners say “Tradewinds 2011” will be joint exercise intended to improve cooperation and interoperability between partner nations in responding to regional security threats.
“The exercise is directed by the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, and sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command. It is conducted annually in cooperation with Caribbean Basin, Central and South American partner nations,” a news release from the United States Embassy in Barbados said.
Tradewinds 2011 will focus on regional defense, Peace Keeping Operations and Counter Illicit Trafficking Operations through law enforcement, basic infantry and maritime operations training tracks.
“The goal of Tradewinds 2011 is to increase cooperation among Caribbean Community, Regional Security Service and other partner nations. This exercise will improve operational center management, basic infantry skills, law enforcement tactics, techniques and procedures, Search and Rescue, Maritime Interdiction Operations and maritime operating procedures.” said Maj. Eric Dominijanni, exercise coordinator with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces South.
He said the U.S. and the Caribbean share common interests, and regional challenges require cooperative solutions.
“We are committed to building lasting partnerships that will enhance our ability to work effectively together,” said Dominijanni.
Tradewinds 2011 will involve U.S. personnel from the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Joint Interagency Task Force-South, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with forces from 21 partner nations: Antigua and Barbuda (host nation), Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
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