The opening ceremony for the Women Peace and Security (WPS) seminar was held on Monday 22 August in the Training Center at HMBS Coral Harbour. The seminar is hosted by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force in collaboration with the United States Northern Command, Southern Command, and the Rhode Island National Guard and will conclude on Friday 26 August. In attendance was U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Lance Posey, Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King, Deputy Commander Defence Force, Captain Shonedel Pinder, Executive Leadership, Senior Officers, and enlisted members of listed agencies. Also in attendance was Apostle Raymond Wells, RBDF Chaplain who provided the invocation. Moderator for the event was Commander Sonia Miller. In his opening remarks, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Lance Posey gave an outline of Women Peace and Security stated the importance of the role that women play in achieving peace and security while highlighting the benefits associated when women meaningfully participate.The Commander Defence Force in his address gave an overview on the RBDF Gender Optimization Policy, supporting the accomplishments made by women within the organization in leadership roles and how he intends to implement fair policies that provide a career structure that is both progressive and effective. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s Gender Optimization Policy was implemented in June 2022 and is an historic marker within the organization as it makes strides towards diversity in leadership roles. Through this exchange experience, its is hoped that the information gathered will help to provide more operational insight into challenges that exist and enable policy makers to put the right systems in place.The Commander Defence Force is committed to gender equality and the inclusion of women in all polices and regulations moving forward, building a force that prides itself on the advancement of women in every facet of the organization across the ranks and rates.
Petty Officer Tancia Russell