Amphibious support vessel RFA Mounts Bay joined in with Exercise Tradewinds.
The exercise, say the Royal Navy, has been running since the 1980s and is aimed at getting all those nations with an interest in the security of the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico/North, Central and South America to work together.
“Exercise Tradewinds (TW19) is the annual Caribbean, multi-national, exercise which includes elements of ground security and interagency focused tasking, supporting the US SOUTHCOM Theatre campaign plan.
For her part in Tradewinds, Mounts Bay worked with nine nations from the Americas and Caribbean – Dominican Republic, Haiti, Canada, USA, Guyana, Jamaica, and Mexico, Bermuda, Barbados – for the annual test of international navies to deal with a myriad of potential problems in the Central America/Caribbean region, everything from disaster relief (highly likely) to countering drug runners and smugglers (a constant threat) and terrorist attacks (always possible).”
Edward Rogers, deputy head of training at US Southern Command, said many of the lessons learned during Tradewinds were valid far beyond the Caribbean:
“Whether this is your first Tradewinds or you’ve been in multiple ones, it’s an important exercise. It is really an enduring promise between the Caribbean and the Americas, where we come together once a year to execute training that is very critical. It builds friendships, trust, and partnerships and solidarity with all the participants.
By us coming together it allows us to be ready and to rapidly respond to whatever we face, whether they’re man-made or natural security threats.”