Coast Guard units deploy for international Exercise Tradewinds 2016

Coast Guard boats from partner nations pull up to the pier in St. George's, Grenada, June 7, 2016 after completing on-water training as part of Exercise Tradewinds 2016. Tradewinds 2016 is a joint combined exercise conducted in conjunction with partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and to conduct humanitarian/disaster relief operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake

Coast Guard boats from partner nations pull up to the pier in St. George’s, Grenada, June 7, 2016 after completing on-water training as part of Exercise Tradewinds 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Coast Guard units from the Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, areas are participating in Phase I of the U.S. Southern Command-led, international exercise Tradewinds 2016 June 4 through June 14, 2016 in St. George’s, Grenada.

Exercise Tradewinds is a three-phased, combined and joint exercise that improves regional security and builds military relations among partner nations that supports the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a U.S. Department of State regional security partnership.

Phase I and II are designed to conduct joint, interagency capacity building exercises for participating nations, which focus on increasing regional cooperation in complex, multinational security operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

“Tradewinds brings together so many partner nations for a common goal to share best practices and learn from each other in a controlled environment,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Tabitha Schiro, the maritime lead for Tradewinds 2016.  “The relationships we’re building through this exercise are integral to working together with our partner nations in the future.”

Military and security personnel from 13 Caribbean Community member states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis,  Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago will join military personnel from the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom for Phase I of Exercise Tradewinds 2016.

Local Coast Guard units participating in Exercise Tradewinds 2016 includes units and personnel from Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in Portsmouth, Virginia, Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown in Yorktown, Virginia, The Director of Operational Logistics in Norfolk, Virginia, and Communications Command in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Participating regional organizations include the Regional Security System, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, and Caribbean Community.

Phase II is scheduled to take place in Jamaica, and will focus on refining land and maritime operational skill, while Phase III includes a ‘Key Leader Seminar’ in the U.S., which will focus its discussions on phases moving forward.

Photos from the exercise can be found here.

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