(ZIZ News) — Top international and regional law enforcement officials are joining forces with hundreds of local security officers for specialized training as part of Exercise Tradewinds 2015.
The opening ceremony was held on Sunday 31st May at the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force Headquarters.
For the next 10 days, the waters of St. Kitts and Nevis will be buzzing with activities, as hundreds of law enforcement officials take part in the maritime phase of Exercise Tradewinds 2015.
Approximately 700 security personnel will be participating in the maritime phase, with 500 of those participants travelling from 13 CARICOM member states, the Dominican Republic, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
During his remarks at the opening ceremony, Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Wallace called on the participants to take the training seriously.
“I am urging the participants to take it serious. The information which will be disseminated, the new techniques which will be learnt and the practical skills that will be enhanced and reinforced, all goes to prepare you for any eventuality in our line of business,” he said.
He said he was particularly pleased with the disaster management component of the exercise.
“We live in an area prone to hurricanes. Every year, we are visited by these storms and with a devastating effect. There is none among you who cannot testify to the horrifying damage that some of these storms have wreaked on their islands. In times of distress, you must be able to effectively assist each other. There is no better preparation tool for this than Exercise Tradewinds,” he said.
Commander Wallace also used the opportunity to call for the inclusion of St. Lucia back into the training exercises.
St. Lucia last participated in 2013, when it hosted the training exercises.
“One of our sisters is missing. And it would be remiss of me not to mention St. Lucia. I am truly saddened that our counterparts from our sister island is not able to be here with us this morning. I look forward to the day when they will resume training and exercising with us for we cannot be serious about promoting regional cooperation and enhancing operability while we ostracize one of our member states,” he said.
The maritime phase of Exercise Tradewinds 2015 will run until June 9th.
Phase Two, which focuses on land operations training, will be conducted in Belize from 14 – 24 June.