The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) successfully participated in Exercise Tradewinds 16, a multinational training event that took place in Grenada and Jamaica from June 5 to 28, 2016.
Canada’s contribution to this year’s exercise included the deployment of maritime and land assets to provide joint training alongside the United States, France, and the United Kingdom to military and security forces from 15 Caribbean and partner nations.
Select CAF representatives will join key regional and national decision makers at a follow-on seminar in July in Miami, Florida, to discuss the results of this year’s exercise, as well as the short and long-term goals and objectives for future exercises. This session will help the CAF ensure that overall efforts geared towards assisting Caribbean partners are effectively meeting their needs.
Participation in Exercise Tradewinds also contributes to the operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces, allowing the CAF to meet the tasks assigned by the Government of Canada.
“The Canadian Armed Forces’ involvement in Exercise Tradewinds promotes the development of Caribbean defence partners and fosters our security and defence relationships with key allies in the western hemisphere. Canada’s participation promotes regional security cooperation, enabling partner nations to counter transnational crime and enhance humanitarian assistance disaster relief skills.” - Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“Exercise Tradewinds 16 has culminated with our soldiers and sailors demonstrating yet again that they are among the finest in the world. Their contributions have enabled a successful iteration of Tradewinds and helped to lay the framework for future operations in the Caribbean region.” - Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command
|Belize. 18 June 2015 - Warrant Officer Jocelyn Roy from the Royal 22e Regiment, provides a shotgun demonstration for the soldiers from the Belize Defence Force and members of the United States Marine Corps participating in marksmanship shotgun training during phase II of Exercise TRADEWINDS 15. (Photo: Sgt Yannick Bédard, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)|
The CAF contributed a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Shawinigan), an 11-member dive training team composed of personnel from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) and Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific), and a land contingent of approximately 30 personnel, primarily from 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, to this year’s exercise.
In addition to the practical training, CAF elements were integrated with a Regional Assessment Team throughout Tradewinds 16 to provide expertise and feedback to participating Caribbean organizations. This team supported Caribbean participants in their efforts to better plan for, coordinate, and execute response to disasters as well as security and defence threats.
Tradewinds 16 marked the first operational activation of the CAF’s Operational Support Hub Latin America and Caribbean. The Hub served as the in-theatre support platform for CAF personnel participating in the largest component of the exercise in Jamaica.
Exercise Tradewinds provides an important opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to strengthen defence support between partner nations for civilian government-led disaster response efforts. Multinational exercises like Tradewinds develop skills and procedures that enhance interoperability, readiness, crisis response capabilities, and communications between partner nations.