St. Kitts and Nevis participates in 26th annual Trade Winds

ST. KITTS, APRIL 14TH 2010 (CUOPM) – Just over 30 law enforcement officers from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard are in Belize and Jamaica attending the 26th annual Trade Winds exercise.

Fifteen police officers, and 12 infantry and 5 Coast Guard from the Defence Force are among approximately 450 United States, United Kingdom and Caribbean nations’ security forces participating in the exercise which ends on April 26th.

Tradewinds 2010 focuses on regional defense, consisting of two phases – green in Belize and blue in Jamaica. The green phase will provide a tactical level training venue to exercise core infantry skills, policing and investigative techniques, hazardous material identification and handling, and vessel boarding party operations. The blue phase will focus on maritime interdiction and search and rescue operations with an emphasis on command and control.

“The goal of Tradewinds 2010 is to increase cooperation among partner nations. This exercise will help to improve key tactical skills in marksmanship, investigative operations, search and rescue and maritime interdiction operations,” said U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, exercise coordinator, Major Eric Dominijanni.

He said that the United States and the Caribbean share common interests, and regional challenges require cooperative solutions. “We are committed to building lasting partnerships that will enhance our ability to work effectively together.”

Tradewinds 2010 is a maritime operations exercise that supports USSOUTHCOM’s theatre security cooperation objectives and exercises the assets and capability provided under the Enduring Friendship program.

Enduring Friendship is a USSOUTHCOM sponsored program to build maritime security capabilities throughout the Caribbean. The program provides high-speed interceptor boats with extensive communication and surveillance suites, as well as, a command, control and communication package that links U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force-South with partner nation’s operations centers to track and coordinate the seizure of illicit maritime traffic.

The nations that are participating in Exercise Tradewinds 2010 are Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, United Kingdom and United States. Tradewinds is a joint-combined, interagency exercise and will involve U.S. personnel from the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, JIATF-S, Naval Criminal Investigative and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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