More than 500 military, law enforcement and civilian personnel from the Regional Security System (RSS) as well as the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom Monday began their first phase of a military exercise in St Kitts that Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said is tailored specifically for the region.
He said the eight-day “Exercise Tradewinds” is designed to bolster the internal security of the Caribbean and will cover disaster relief humanitarian assistance, and of course special security operations.
“Specifically, the training is designed to prepare participants to better plan for and respond to disasters, emergencies and threats such as a major natural and/or humanitarian disaster resulting from, for example, a devastating earthquake, or a catastrophic hurricane, as several of our partner nations exercise, and St. Kitts and Nevis experienced last year in the form of hurricanes Irma and Maria.”” Harris said at the opening of the military event that was also attended by Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton and US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela.
Exercise Tradewinds is a multi-national maritime security and disaster response exercise held annually in the Caribbean.
Led by the United States Southern Command, it brings together defence and security partners from different countries to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and terrorism, and to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Prime Minister Harris said he was pleased that the first phase of Tradewinds 2018, would enhance the region’s capacity to cooperate and respond to 21st century threats on land and on sea.
“I have been assured that we can therefore expect training components or injects that reflect real world scenarios so that in the face of a real threat our security forces and emergency response personnel will be able to coordinate seamlessly and in a manner and time that both meet international standards,” Harris said.
The military exercise is also being attended by troops from the Dominican Republic.