By Major General John M. Croley
Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces, South
Good morning. Colonel Quintyne and distinguished members of the press.
I take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the government, Barbados Defense Force, and people of Barbados—your ongoing support to make this TRADEWINDS exercise possible—and your incredible hospitality make it enjoyable\We also want to recognize your role as a leader in promoting regional and hemispheric security.
Over the years—TRADEWINDS has become an important multilateral exercise, bringing together the countries and security forces of the Caribbean in a shared commitment to improve responses to regional security threats and to focus on maritime interdiction, search and rescue operations, basic ground forces and law enforcement tactics, techniques and procedures with an emphasis on command and control.
This year, as we celebrate the 28th year of TRADEWINDS, we count on the involvement and participation of 17 countries represented by a total (345) civilians and security forFor the first time in the exercise’s history—the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will collaborate with the Caribbean Regional Security System and The Barbados National Emergency Operation Center, the Barbados Joint Operations Center and the key emergency response organizations, as well as partner nations and US organizations, including USMC, JIATF-South, US Coast Guard, the FBI, NCIS, and USAID, with the assistance of our U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown to develop and execute a scenario-driven exercise where a natural disaster affects a country (Barbados) already committed to countering a transnational organized criminal organization that threatens the country’s stability.
The longevity and continued growth of this exercise—is a testament to our region’s shared commitment to improve cooperation and security within the region. This commitment is underscored by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative through which our governments are working to improve citizen safety across the Caribbean.
TRADEWINDS—also provides a unique opportunity for us to learn from each other, to share insights and find new avenues for cooperation
This exercise not only promotes joint and combined interoperability in maritime and land operations—but also enhances future collaboration on shared security concerns, and reinforces the spirit of friendship and cooperation that unites the countries of the Caribbean
In closing, Col Quintyne, thank you for your leadership and ensuring that we will once again have a successful TRADEWINDS—we also thank you for your enduring commitment to promoting regional security and stability