Camp Springfield ceremony to start 2015 Tradewinds exercises in St. Kitts and Nevis

Military contingents from around the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico and the Netherlands are in St. Kitts and Nevis to participate in Phase I exercises of Tradewinds 2015 that will be conducted in St Kitts and Nevis from 30th May to 9th June. In this phase, the forces will participate in maritime security exercises and disaster response training. Phase II focuses on land operations, and these exercises will be held in Belize from 14th to 24th June.

The local lead coordinator, the SKN Defense Force, indicates that key outcomes of the joint exercises include the ability of various international agencies to collaborate effectively in joint operations, when necessary. The military-security annual exercise is aimed also at tackling problems such as human trafficking, the smuggling of arms and ammunition and trafficking in the illegal drug trade.

The non-military component of the exercise focuses on humanitarian assistance logistics and response processes. These exercises involve CDEMA and various national disaster management agencies of the Caribbean.

Exercise Tradewinds is a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) sponsored training exercise held annually in the Caribbean. Officials say it assists Caribbean nations to be better able to counter land and maritime security threats.

Regional participants in this year’s exercises include regional organizations such as the Regional Security System (RSS), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Caribbean Disaster Response Unit (CRDU), CARICOM (IMPACS) and the Regional Intelligence Fusion Center (RIFC).

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