Commander Defence Force attends UK-Third Caribbean Chiefs of Defence Conference
In keeping with the Global Security Collaborative Framework and the Commander Defence Force’s strategic intent in strengthening joint relationships with its regional and international partnerships, Commodore Raymond King attended the UK- Chief of Defence Staff (CHoDs’) in Barbados from 31 January – 1 February 2023, to share best practices and to discuss matters of mutual interest. Accompanied by his Aide De Camp, Lieutenant Commander Samantha Hart, and Fleet Chief Petty Officer Vaughn Ferguson, the sessions were co-chaired by Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, UK Chief of Defence Staff and Commodore Errington Shurland, Chief of Staff for Barbados Defence Force. Also in attendance were countries with various Chiefs of Defence Staff representing security partners across the region from the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. Seventeen (17) countries took part in the sessions, which was conducted virtually for those unable to attend. These leaders shared their views on global security and joint partnerships, while continuing the work of strengthening the UK-Caribbean relationship and developing concepts for future engagements on issues of mutual interest. The inaugural conference convened virtually in November 2020, with each of the regional Chiefs of Defence, and the second conference in September 2021 focused on building on the success of the virtual event in strengthening the UK-Caribbean relationships. Due to the ongoing pandemic in 2022, the sessions were not conducted.The three-day conference commenced with an ice-breaker reception hosted by the President, Her Excellency the Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason. The conference was officially opened on January 31 with Acting Attorney General of Barbados, the Honorable Wilfred Abrahams bringing remarks on behalf of the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. The first core session was led by Admiral Radakin, as he set out the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s perspective on the strategic context for the Caribbean along with the impacts of global events in the region. Participants were able to gain an understanding of their primary threats and opportunities in relations to the UK Defence relationship. Presentations and discussions over the final two days covered topics and concerns in the areas of: CDS UK Strategic Context; Trans-National / Serious Organized Crime; Regional Initiatives and Implications for UK Defence; Natural Threats, Media Engagement; Barbados Defence Force Field Capability Demonstration; and Maritime Security. The conference, which helped to strengthen the fraternity among Chief of Defence Staffs in the region. It also a conduit for a step in the right direction to synchronize efforts to combat issues such as transnational crimes, climate change, and threats to maritime security which can have negative impacts on the peace, prosperity, stability and existence of persons in the region.