The 2016 Tradewinds exercise is in full swing. The exercise is designed to help nations become better equipped when responding to natural disasters and land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking. Tradewinds has also been identified in the Coast Guard commandant’s Western Hemisphere Strategy as a crucial cornerstone to the fight against countering transnational organized crime in the Caribbean region, specifically smuggling illicit drugs, people and weapons.
Tradewinds, an annual Caribbean-focused exercise overseen by U.S. Southern Command, focuses on building and strengthening partnerships. The exercise helps nations better respond to natural disasters and land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking.
The island of Antigua was abuzz with activity during a typically slow off-season. For six days beginning in early June, more than 100 members from the U.S. military, Royal Canadian Navy and military units from 11 Caribbean nations commuted daily across the island to conduct maritime training during the first phase of Tradewinds 2014. Tradewinds is a joint and combined exercise designed to enhance the military and law enforcement capabilities of Caribbean partner nations in maritime security and disaster response training.
Three small parts made one big difference for the crew of GC 109 Orion, a Dominican Republic patrol boat that received the critical components fabricated by a damage controlman aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak in Saint Lucia during Tradewinds 2013. The replacement parts were a gift, custom-tailored for Orion by Petty Officer 3rd Class Marilyn A. Brammer, a damage controlman from Atwater, Calif. Brammer called upon nearly four years of training and experience to build these parts – three stainless steel, seawater strainers for Orion’s engine cooling system.
Through the sweltering 85-degree Caribbean heat and 79 percent humidity, U.S. Coast Guard members renewed partnerships with 16 other countries during Exercise Tradewinds 2012.
Ens. Nick Jokela, a crewmember aboard Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, gives training to coast guardsmen from Barbados on the use of maneuvering boards. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener. Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener More than 135 U.S. Coast Guard personnel are on the ground and on