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GDF S ESSEQUIBO RETURNS TO INTERNATIONAL EXERCISES - DEPARTS FOR EXERCISE TRADEWINDS

The Guyana Defence Force Flagship, the GDFS Essequibo, has departed with a team for St. Kitts/ Nevis to participate in Exercise Trade winds.

Exercise Tradewinds is a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) sponsored training exercise held annually in the Caribbean and has two phases –Maritime and Land Operations. The Maritime Phase is scheduled to be held in St Kitts Nevis from May 30- June 9, 2015 and the Land Operations Phase is scheduled to be held in Belize from June 14-24.

The team comprises 4 Officers and 36 Other Ranks from the Coast Guard, and 3 Other Ranks as supporting staff drawn from across the Force. The team on board the vessel will participate exclusively in the Maritime phase.

Commanding Officer of the vessel, Lieutenant (Coast Guard) Adrian McLean explained that, ranks will be exposed to several aspects of training during the period. He also noted that additional ranks will join the exercise to conduct small boat operations training, and the maritime phase will culminate with a 2-day exercise.

The aim of Exercise Tradewinds is to help Caribbean nations to be better able to counter land and maritime security threats such as human smuggling and trafficking in illegal weapons and ammunition.