Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) is forging ahead with preparations for hosting “Phase 1” of the United States-sponsored Regional Security Force training exercise dubbed Tradewinds. This is designed to make the waters off St. Kitts and Nevis the Operations Area (OA) for the Maritime Phase.
Tradewinds which will be conducted from May 31 to June 9, will bring together over 200 service members from across the region for an intensive period of security training. The Maritime Phase is designed to build capacity for the Caribbean region’s Coast Guards in their efforts to secure borders and counter the trans-shipment of illegal items.
According to Major Joseph Comrie of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Coast Guard, “the waters off St. Kitts and Nevis will be busy with the operations. We will see Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (fast boats) and Coast Guard Cutters from the participating countries in full operation mode. The operation tempo will be high, and it will provide the opportunity for real life training scenarios to be executed. It will test the capabilities of our service members and equipment on a continuous basis.”
Phase 1 will also have a land element designed to test the capacity of regional land-based security forces and Disaster Emergency Response efforts.
Tradewinds 2015 will mark the second time the exercise is held in St. Kitts and Nevis.