Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Goose Bay and its crew departed Halifax late May 2019 to take part in Exercise TRADEWINDS 19 in the Dominican Republic and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from May 30 to June 21, 2019.
Exercise TRADEWINDS is a United States-led multinational joint exercise that aims to strengthen safety and security in the Caribbean region. Held annually, this year’s exercise marks the 35th year since its inception and there are 22 partner nations training together to increase regional cooperation in complex security and humanitarian operations.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with our partner nations in the Caribbean during Exercise TRADEWINDS,” said Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Rice.
During the alongside component, HMCS Goose Bay was responsible for coordinating both a seamanship and a damage control games for exercise participants. Activities ranged from rigging a hose to throwing a heaving line. Approximately 40 sailors from the US Coast Guard, Armada de Republica Dominicana and Armada de Mexico took part in the events. The activities were a great success and allowed the participants to work together prior to heading to sea.
Following the alongside component, HMCS Goose Bay headed out to sea in consort with USCGC Joseph Tezanos, RFA Mounts Bay, ARD Orion, and ARM Baja California to conduct various serials. This was a good challenge for the crew, as they were working with a culturally diverse multi-national group, yet we all understood the language of being a sailor therefore integrated well together. HMCS Goose Bay led the formation shoot, which included the different weapons from each nation, as well as conducted a towing exercise with ARD Orion.
“TRADEWINDS enabled me to witness and experience realistic scenarios within our ship, and amongst the other countries involved. From the command team to the rest of the crew, HMCS Goose Bay had made my first sailing experience a memorable one,” said Leading Seaman Johnston from Deck Department HMCS Goose Bay.
Although communication is always a challenge, HMCS Goose Bay is fortunate to have a fluent Spanish speaking sailor onboard, which in conjunction with the overall coordination, led to successful execution of both serials and overall training.
“Overcoming language barriers and differences in practices and procedures, our teams came together to successfully coordinate complex multi-ship event including gunnery, seamanship, search and rescue, and maritime interdiction,” said Lieutenant-Commander Rice.
During the at sea component, HMCS Goose Bay had four members from Les Policiers de la Garde-cote Haitienne embark to experience life at sea onboard a Canadian vessel. They took part in a tour of the ship, driving the small rescue boat, and small arms firing. The crew of HMCS Goose Bay warmly welcomed the riders and quickly made them feel a part of the ships company.
TRADEWINDS is sponsored by United States Southern Command and is a joint, multinational, and interagency training exercise with participation this year from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States. (Story by: Sub-Lieutenant William Bélanger-Croteau, HMCS Goose Bay)