The recently concluded Tradewinds 2023 (TW23) exercise, held in Guyana from July 15 to July 28, 2023, achieved resounding success, fostering increased regional cooperation in complex multinational security operations across the ground, air, sea, and cyber domains. Tradewinds, a long-standing event, saw the participation of various nations, including the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), which has consistently benefited from the exercise for decades, particularly in the areas of Joint Combined Operations and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
Under the leadership of Captain Carlon Bethell, the RBDF team, consisting of forty-three (43) fielded members, engaged in a variety of rigorous training tracks. These included Combined Task Force (CTF) Planning, Maritime Operations Command, Small Boat Engineering, Ground Troop Forces, Special Operations Forces, Cyber Security Operations, and Unmanned Aerial Systems Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) procedures.
The team returned home on July 29, 2023, after a 16-day immersive training experience, achieving commendable proficiency in Cyber Security, CTF, Ground Troops, and Unmanned Systems. Their exemplary performance earned them recognition and certificates for their participation, which were presented onboard HMBS Coral Harbour by Captain Glenn McPhee on July 31, 2023.
During the exercise, the RBDF team had the privilege of including Woman Marine Kamiesha Brown, the youngest serving member, who left a remarkable impression on her superiors. She presented Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King, with a plaque for the RBDF’s participation in the exercise. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “My experience at Tradewinds in Guyana was one to remember. The most memorable part of the exercise was meeting people from various parts of the world and interacting with them. Most of the training was familiar as it was similar to the training we have in my department, Commando Squadron. The only thing I was unfamiliar with was the fast roping exercise, which was very thrilling. I am very grateful to have been chosen to go, and I hope to continue to have such experiences and developments in my career.”
Tradewinds 2023 served as an excellent platform for strengthening partnerships and building capacity among regional nations. The multi-dimensional exercise facilitated a robust learning environment, allowing participants to hone their skills, exchange best practices, and bolster cooperation in addressing complex security challenges. This event highlighted the commitment of the participating countries to maintaining peace and stability in the Caribbean region.
The RBDF under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the transformation of Defence Force personnel’s quality and capabilities. This commitment is rooted in the pursuit of excellence in leadership, which is demonstrated through professionalism. We strive to cultivate a High-Performance Workforce focused on Performance Excellence, fostering an inclusive working environment that empowers our personnel. Through meaningful involvement of service members, we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate.