Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 22, 2018 (SKNIS): About 26 countries are expected to participate in Tradewinds 2018, a multi-national and multi-dimensional maritime, internal security and disaster relief operation in the Caribbean, which will be held in St. Kitts and Nevis from June 4-12.


Captain Kayode Sutton of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) and Lead Planner for Tradewinds 2018 noted that Tradewinds is a United States Chairman of Joint Chief of Staffs approved U.S. Southern Command sponsored exercise that is usually broken down into two phases, the second of which is slated for the Bahamas from June 13-26. Captain Sutton spoke briefly on this year’s focus.


“The main focus of the training is going to be strictly Internal Security (IS) because most of the Caribbean islands are faced with Internal Security challenges so we are basing it on that,” he said during an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS). Based on the programmes that we put together for training, it is to fine tune our skills sets, our operating standards so that we can take out the best practices from all the participating nations and the major key players like the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and other major countries.”


He explained that all of the major countries will be able to bring to the table their experiences and tactics, and come up with best practices to help each of the partnering nations that will be participating in Tradewinds 2018.


The lead planner noted that there are many benefits for St. Kitts and Nevis and the entire region coming out of the training exercise, as Tradewinds helps to sharpen the abilities of all the security forces within the partner nations.


“For St. Kitts and Nevis, we will be able to fine tune our skills sets; we will be able to learn better collaboration tactics that can be utilized within the Defence and Police Forces and we will also be able to network with the regional and international agencies,” said Captain Sutton. “We will also get exposure to some new tools and tricks of the trade… so that we can better deal with our internal securities because most of the Caribbean Islands have similar challenges so this is going to help us as a region.


Phase one of the training, which is slated for St. Kitts and Nevis will involve training of all of the security forces and partner nations, synchronizing their skills and tactics which will prepare them for successful execution during phase two in the Bahamas.