Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 04, 2018 (SKNIS): The need for closer collaborations between security agencies across the Caribbean region was stressed by the Commander of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force, Lieutenant Colonel J. Anthony Comrie, as he welcomed security and law enforcement personnel to the start of Exercise Tradewinds 2018 (TW18), on Monday.
The 1st Phase of the annual exercise will run from June 04 to 12 in St. Kitts and Nevis and features troops and law enforcement officials from 20 partner countries including several CARICOM member states, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, and Canada. Lt. Col. Comrie said strengthening partnerships is particularly important given the growing proliferation of drugs and illegal guns in the region.
“As we ensure that while we face no external enemy through guns and ammunition, the menacing and festering criminal network that threatens our human security must not be allowed safe haven,” he said. “It is by our cooperation, trust and shared efforts, that we will accomplish this objective.”
The theme for TW18 is “Capacity Development through Integrated Training and Exercises to Confront National Security Challenges of the 21st Century.” Training in traditional land and maritime areas such as house clearing, close quarters battle, weapons handling, vessel boarding, and disaster rescue operations will take place. New courses on explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) and cyber warfare have also been added to meet emerging threats.
The spread of global terrorism is also of great concern to security forces.
“Future exercises must incorporate methods that counter the threat of recruitment of persons to form part of terror networks in the Caribbean. We must strengthen our regional capability to prevent any chance of the occurrence of any terrorist act and our collective focus must transition significantly to limit environments conducive to recruitment,” he stated.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Commander expressed his desire to see “formally standardized doctrines and procedures” for security agencies in the region and also a foundation being laid to overcome language barriers with neighbouring “Caribbean friends.”
Exercise Tradewinds is sponsored by the United States Southern Command and is part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).