Multinational forces leave mark on St. Kitts-Nevis before moving on to TW18 Phase II
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Members from the multinational security forces that participated in Phase I of Exercise Tradewinds 2018 (TW18) left their mark on several communities in St. Kitts and Nevis June 12 as they joined forces to rehabilitate several buildings.
The work was performed under the segment dubbed COMREL (Community Relations) and saw fresh coats of paint being applied to the Beach Allen, Joshua Obadiah, Violet Petty and Sandy Point Primary Schools in St. Kitts. In Nevis, the troops painted the Combermere Health Centre and select areas of the Alexander Hamilton Museum, and also beautified the area around the newly renovated Gingerland Secondary School by planting flowers and engaging in other landscaping activities.
Later that evening, the men and women and their commanding officers joined with representatives from TW18 partner agencies, local government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, high-level dignitaries and invited guests for the closing ceremony held at Government House. Governor-General His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton; Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris; Senior Minister the Honourable Vance Amory; and Minister Honourable Ian “Patches” Liburd were among the senior government officials in attendance.
Dr. Vic Ramdass, deputy director of J7/9 Exercises and Coalition Affairs at the United States Southern Command, addressed the gathering and said he was delighted to be in St. Kitts and Nevis to “celebrate the success of the first phase of TW18” and noted that he had received many complimentary reports about the federation’s hosting of the annual exercise.
Head of the TW18 local organizing committee, Captain Kayode Sutton of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF), shared similar sentiments as he reflected on the land force, maritime and disaster response activities undertaken during the June 4-12 training period. These included firing exercises, house clearing, a tactical raid, outboard engine repair, ship boarding, and emergency response to a ferry accident and aviation disaster.
“The training attained through regional agencies and international partners will act as a multiplier effect for all partner nations that participated upon their return to their respective units because they can in turn train others in their unit,” he stated.
Captain Sutton added that there was a seamless blend in executing operations in spite of the varying standard operation procedures, tactics and doctrines of each country. This fulfils one of the core objectives of Tradewinds, which is to promote greater collaboration between security forces in the Caribbean region.
The SKNDF official recommended that “Tradewinds continues to be the hub for regional integration in order to mitigate against any security challenges that each partner nation may face in the hemisphere, be it disaster response or security challenges.”
Phase II of TW18 continues in the Bahamas June 14-21.