Tradewinds 2014 was a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored training exercise conducted in the Caribbean which helps nations in the region better respond to natural disasters and land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking. The exercise was conducted in two main phases in Antigua-Barbuda and the Dominican Republic from June 1 - 25. Both phases included U.S. military and law enforcement agencies who joined counterparts from Canada and 16 Caribbean nations.
Tradewinds 2014 was a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-directed, U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual exercise conducted in cooperation with Caribbean Basin partner nations.
Tradewinds supports the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), as well as U.S. Southern Command’s theater security engagement goal of building partner nation capacity at the tactical and operational levels.
The exercise was designed to conduct joint, combined and interagency training which focuses on increasing regional cooperation in countering illicit trafficking and building participating nations’ capability to plan and execute complex multinational security operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.
Phase I (maritime training)
The training focused primarily on maritime security and countering transnational organized criminal groups on the high seas, as well as training to improve the ability to respond to natural disasters and provide humanitarian relief. The exercise provided realistic simulated disaster events to test the Antigua-Barbuda National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
Phase II (land field training exercise)
U.S. and Canadian militaries provided training to the defense forces and constabularies of participating nations.
During the field training exercise of Tradewinds, Marines from the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion and trainers from the Canadian Army trained partner nation militaries on how to conduct small arms range operations and employment, security operations and core military police skills. This required a combination of classroom training and practical application. Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group conducted civil assessments to determine provincial and municipal disaster preparedness and conduct a Civil Military Operations information class for Phase II participants.
Tradewinds also featured community engagement and key leader engagement events.
Participants, Nations Involved
Participating U.S. forces included U.S. Marine Corps units, U.S. Coast Guard elements, and personnel from U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Marines Forces South. The Canadian armed forces also played a key role.
Partner nation participation included the Antigua-Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), as well as national police and coast guard units from Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Some of the participating vessels were interceptors and patrol boats provided to partner nations as part of CBSI’s Secure Seas program. The crews of these vessels trained alongside members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy, which also provided a fleet diving team and the Kingston-class maritime patrol vessel HMCS Summerside.