Showcased in the Tradewinds 2013 multi-national exercise, new Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) boats delivered by the Coast Guard’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program are helping to strengthen ties among Caribbean nations partnered in maritime security missions.
Sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Tradewinds is an annual training exercise that fosters cooperation among Caribbean nations. This year, the island nation of St. Lucia played host to naval, military and law enforcement units from 14 nations with shared interest in planning and executing complex maritime security operations. According to SOUTHCOM, Tradewinds, now in its 28th year, enhances the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and to conduct humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
Since 1997, the Coast Guard’s Office of International Programs has delivered more than 350 assets worldwide, including 20 33-foot SPC-LE boats to countries in the Caribbean Basin.
“This is a prime example of building partner capacity through assets and training acquired through FMS,” Tod Reinert, director of the Office of International Programs. “[We are] providing the foundation for a regional security capability and enabling exercises such as Tradewinds to further develop multi-national cooperation.”
For more information on the the Coast Guard’s Office of International Programs, please see the website at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/international/default.asp