The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recently participated in Exercise Tradewinds 18. The States-led multinational land and maritime exercise involved partner nations with a mutual interest in strengthening safety and security in the Caribbean region.
The exercise started on June 4 and concluded on June 21, in both St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bahamas.
“Exercise Tradewinds allows our Canadian Armed Forces to work collaboratively with partners throughout the Americas to develop regional capabilities and continue building upon strong relationships with allies, partners, and multilateral institutions,” said Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, in a press release issued June 21.
The CAF contributed both maritime and land capabilities, including the Canadian Disaster Assessment Team in a training and mentorship role to the 34th Tradewinds’ iteration. This involved ships, aircraft, and personnel from 22 nations.
A team of three Global Affairs Canada personnel and four CAF personnel went to St. Kitts and Nevis, to take part in a natural disaster scenario. Canadian Disaster Assessment Team (CDAT) staff worked with Nevis Department of Emergency Management and St. Kitts National Emergency Management Agency to role play a situation where they might be called to respond to a request for international assistance.
While in the Bahamas, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Shawinigan, a Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defense Vessel, participated in a multinational group tasked with increasing tactics and procedures for tracking, intercepting, and boarding suspect vessels.
The Combined Dive Team from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic), consisting of 11 experienced divers and two Health Services Support personnel, were deployed to the Bahamas to provide training to 41 partner nations’ divers in the areas of individual and group diving procedures. The 41 divers were also briefed in tactics to include supervision, contingency preparation, medical requirements, military dive planning procedures, night dive operations, hull search techniques and bottom search techniques.
The CAF worked with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dive team to further strengthen their ability to provide support to their law enforcement training, including evidence recovery, documentation, and techniques.
The program focused on preparing partner nation divers to plan and complete dive missions within a multinational environment.
“From the earliest days of Canadian Armed Forces participation in Exercise Tradewinds, our work with partner nations has been a collaborative relationship allowing us to share our knowledge and expertise mutually,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, in a press release issued June 21. “Thereby enhancing our regional partnerships and contributing to the strengthening of safety and security in the Caribbean Region.”