Commander of SKNDF Lt. Col Anthony J. Comrie (right) exchanges a plaque with Deputy Director Vic Ramdass.
Commander of SKNDF Lt. Col Anthony J. Comrie (right) exchanges a plaque with Deputy Director Vic Ramdass.

St. Kitts-Nevis government highly commended for successful Tradewinds 2018


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Deputy Director Vic Ramdass of J7/9 Exercises and Coalition Affairs with United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) commended the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, in particular the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF), for an exceptional job in hosting Phase I of Exercise Tradewinds 2018, which ran June 4-12.

In his remarks during the closing ceremony for Phase I of Exercise Tradewinds Tuesday, the deputy director expressed thanks to His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, governor-general of St. Kitts and Nevis, and Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, as well as the people of the federation for their gracious hospitality and spirit of welcome shown to partner nations.

“I would also like to thank the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) for hosting Phase I of Tradewinds and all of our private sector partners who supported the exercise, planning and scenario development,” he said. “I would like to also congratulate the entire regional team involved with the meticulous and often difficult work required in the run-up and execution of this exercise.”

The regional team includes the Regional Security System (RSS); the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security; the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); and the team at the United States (U. S.) Embassy in Barbados. Partners include the U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Army National Guard; joint staff and Canada, as well as the training and exercise division at USSOUTHCOM.

Deputy Director Ramdass said that there is a lot to be thankful for as Phase I of the exercise provided a trusted space for coordinated activities.

“Phase I provided a dedicated venue to synchronize disaster response and counter transnational organized crime operations,” he said. “This exercise brought together our land, air and maritime forces and our disaster management experts from Europe, the Caribbean, Central and North America, to participate in challenging real-life training scenarios that tested our collective crisis response capabilities.”

He outlined the most important outcome of the exercise as it was more than just about the training. “While the technical skills learned and practiced in Tradewinds are important, the most valuable outcome of this exercise is the partnerships forged among our nations,” he said. “When we join together in exercises like this we learn from one another, better understand one another and ultimately become stronger and more secure. The personal relationships made through this exercise bind us together not just as security professionals, but as equal partners and true friends. This trust is important during times of peace and even more important during times of crisis.”

Ramdass encouraged each participant to exhibit the same spirit of collaboration shared during Phase I of the exercise in St. Kitts and Nevis and apply it to everything they do in their respective careers. He congratulated all on the successful completion of a very complexed phase of Exercise Tradewinds 2018.

To close off the ceremony, there was a symbolic exchange of plaques between the SKNDF and USSOUTHCOM.