Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 18, 2018 (SKNIS): The assistance given to the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) Coast Guard Unit by the local Customs and Excise Department was hailed a success as the department played an exemplary role in ensuring that the maritime track for Phase one of Exercise Tradewinds 2018 achieved its outcome.


“They assisted the Coast Guard with a small rib to assist with our day to day operations. This rib was alsoutilized to assist the Tradewinds media to give them a closer view of the actual exercise as they went along during the week and a half of phase one. Customs in itself also played a role in the planning to a certain extent with the local organizing committee,” said Midshipman Carlus Garnette, while noting that his unit played a role in the actual planning of the maritime events. “We came up with a holistic maritime track for Tradewinds in respect to engineering, tactical (small boats) and the C2 track which is the Maritime Operations Centre (MOC), which coordinates all the maritime exercises for Tradewinds Phase One in St. Kitts and Nevis.”


Midshipman Garnette thanked officials from the United States Coast Guard and other partner nations for the assistance rendered to St. Kitts and Nevis. He noted that the maritime phase played a fundamental role for the SKNDF Coast Guard Unit.  


“It enabled the Coast Guard officers to meet international standards with respect to search and rescue and law enforcement. It also helped us in a number of other ways and brought various Coast Guard officers from different countries together to operate collectively, whereas when a Coast Guard officer goes to training he is exposed to theory and practical but he is never exposed to the actual real-life scenarios that the maritime phase brought to Tradewinds,” said the midshipman. 


Equally important, he recognized the engineers who were trained and certified as mercury engine repair men, noting that having them adds to the continued upkeep of the Coast Guard interceptors. The midshipman said that the training was integral and stated that even after the exercise engineers have been actively engaged.


“If you look around the Coast Guard Base presently you would see our officers displaying the actual experiences and the hands-on-training they got during Tradewinds Phase One maritime track. So yes, the maritime phase in St. Kitts and Nevis was a great success,” he added.