Phase two of Trade Winds 2015 came to an end earlier today. The joint military forces exercise ended with a reception that included awards for all participants. The exercise focused on several areas. Brigadier General Coffman Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces South, elaborated on the objectives of the exercise.
Brigadier General Coffman – Commander, US Marine Corps Forces South
“We tried to overlay a scenario that focused more on the threat and challenge and participants not just to do skills for skills sake but how would you apply this to specific battle problems. So each of the tracks followed along in scenarios that replicated battle problems or things that they would have to do to apply those skills to and then we worked to try and bring those things together where we have a command and control track, just kind of watching all the different areas in that and this is a level of maturity that our regional organizations in the Caribbean and most of our partners, not just ready for but they are really pressing us on the US side to say we need to increase the complexity, increase the complexity of the individual skills and team skills and also the exercise to apply it more directly to specific challenges like illegal trafficking and those types of things. So I think we are on a good glide slope for that to increase that and as we commented in our closing today, we don’t see Tradewinds are one discreet event. It’s part of an overall process to work better together and then attack these shared challenges together with great confidence, friendship and great partnerships.
Brigadier General David Jones Commander of the Belize Defense Force told us that the Belizean military personnel benefitted greatly from the exercise.
Brigadier General David Jones – Commander of the Belize Defense Force
“Belize benefits the most because all the countries are here. They were restricted in how many troops they could send here but because we were the host country we were able to put in more efforts and troops to learn from the exercise so what was taught and what was new, was more beneficial for Belize. What was being done here, was to train and prepare for regional threats that occur within the region so not just things that affect Belize, but also things that affect the region. Working together as a region is more important because now that we have met these guys, they are the same guys that we are going to work with. When it comes to communication, it’s a network because what the region is combatting is a network of criminals and the only way to defeat a network is by having your own network, so having Tradewinds here we were able to network with our friends, build that level of comfort, build that level of training opportunity and efficiency so that when we do operations for real we can do it effectively.”
U.S. ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno told Love News a lot of work went into making an exercise of this magnitude a success.
Carlos Moreno – US Ambassador to Belize
“Tradewinds 2015 was an outstanding but also massively complex, logistical exercise, comprising eighteen nations and the Caribbean region, over four hundred personnel and involving many, many lines of exercises. From marksmanship to riverine operations, to forensics, land and sea operations. So, as a nation to nation cooperative effort it was a great success.”
Last year, Tradewinds Exercise was held in the Dominican Republic.