Over the next nine days, ranks from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) will be teaming
up with ranks from the United States Army in a joint exercise dubbed ‘Fused Response 2012’.
The initiative is a US Southern Command sponsored exercise involving a combined contingent of the local and foreign forces.
Yesterday, during a media briefing which was held at Base Camp Ayangana, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds made the announcement, saying the exercise will commence tomorrow and continue until March 9th.
According to Hinds, this and other such training, have over the years, created better relations between the Guyana and the US. The exercise is aimed at strengthening ties, paving the way for joint security challenges, humanitarian efforts and disaster relief efforts.
“Security of our citizens is important and it is necessary for all and this year’s exercise can be deemed one of the largest as it will involve Special Operation of the US and some members of the Guyana Police and the Guyana Defence Force”.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador, D. Brent Hardt, in bringing the local media and the public up to speed with the operation and what it entails, said the exercise will enhance both countries’ capabilities to plan and conduct joint operations.
“Fused Response reflects the continuing strong security partnership between the United States and Guyana… the exercise aims to improve both countries’ capabilities to plan and conduct joint operations while allowing us to forge closer military and civilian relationships.”
Ambassador Brendt Hardt stressed the fact that “Fused Response” builds on other joint military exercises, training and humanitarian activities that have been conducted in Guyana in recent years.
“Fused Response is the largest annual exercise of its type in the hemisphere, and I am pleased to note that it is the first time it is being conducted in the English-speaking Caribbean,” the Ambassador said.
This exercise is designed to improve the inter-operability of United States and Guyanese military forces, enhance law enforcement cooperation through FBI-conducted training and increase the capacity of military and law enforcement authorities to respond to crises, confront common threats – such as organized crime and illicit trafficking and provide assistance for natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies.
Specifically, “Fused Response” will allow both militaries to train in two core areas: the military tactical level and the senior military staff level.
“From a tactical perspective, our forces will be able to train together on room-clearing procedures, close-quarters battle training, personnel recovery operations, as well as water and air operations, in order to hone and increase military skills sets in these important areas”, Ambassador Brendt Hardt stated.
From a senior military staff level, the diplomat noted that top military officers will gain valuable experience and training in how to work together as part of a joint task force and how best to coordinate in a crisis with civilian leadership.
“By cross-training at the staff level, our military leaders will have an opportunity to learn from each other and, at the same time, build friendships that can last a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, it has already been established that approximately 125 Guyanese personnel and 350 U.S. personnel will participate together in the upcoming “Fused Response” training exercise. In preparation for this exercise, U.S. construction teams have been in the country over the course of the past few months working with the Guyana Defence Force to completely refurbish the rifle range at Camp Stephenson, entirely renovate three barracks at Camp Stephenson and construct a floating dock and the extension of boat ramps at the GDF’s Jungle and Amphibious Training School.
Already, Guyana has benefitted from several similar exercises which include visits of the USS Kearsarge in November 2008, the High Speed Vessel Swift in 2007 and the USS Iwo Jima in October 2010. Many of these visits were part of the “Continuing Promise,” ship deployments to the region, whose port visits provide valuable humanitarian assistance to communities in need.
“Fused Response 2012 therefore reflects a broad and continuing United States commitment to military and civilian engagements to promote peace and prosperity in the Americas” Ambassador Hardt reiterated.
“Through operations such as “Fused Response”, as well as through an array of training and exchange programs, the United States is actively engaged to build the capacity of — and learn from — our partners and allies so that individually and collectively we can better protect our citizenry and enhance regional security.”
Ambassador Hardt further pointed out that such cooperation is vital because threats to security and stability in the Hemisphere persist despite positive economic, social, and political gains. “Transnational criminal organizations (TC0s) and illicit trafficking are the largest threats to regional and hemispheric security… trafficking and smuggling routes in the region have led to increased levels of crime, violence, and corruption. Natural disasters can disrupt normal transportation and commerce and destroy infrastructure.”
The Ambassador also took the opportunity to encourage Guyana and other countries to work together with the US to counter transnational organized crime and join in building a new framework for international cooperation to protect all our citizens from the violence, harm and exploitation wrought by these networks.
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