BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Exercise Tradewinds 2017, a multi-national maritime security and disaster response exercise in the Caribbean, kicks off with an opening ceremony in Barbados, June 6, welcoming 18 partner nations and nearly 2,500 participants.
This annual Caribbean-focused exercise includes executive-level leadership and provides an opportunity for participating nations to collaborate on challenges and ensure regional security.
Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, U.S. Southern Command commander, said the U.S. truly values the strong relationships forged during Tradewinds.
“The exercise helps ensure a seamless partnership, and, by cross training with service members from all over the globe, ensures a better response to natural disasters, and land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking in the critical region,” Tidd said.
Two phases of the exercise will be conducted in the Caribbean. Tradewinds Phase I is in Barbados June 6-12, and Phase II will be conducted in Trinidad and Tobago June 13-17.
Tradewinds, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, Florida, is a joint, combined exercise, conducted in conjunction with partner nations 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.
Partner nations participating in the exercise include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago as well as military personnel from the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.