Forty-one men and women of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) departed Belize on May 29th for Exercise Tradewinds 2019 which is being held in the Dominican Republic and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Tradewinds is an annual exercise held jointly by the United States Southern Command and its multinational partners to promote regional security cooperation. This year’s exercise comprises 22 nations and over 18 different regional organizations and focuses on four main objectives.
(1) Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response, where partner nations practice response to any and all hazards within the region and incorporate international support.
(2) Counter Threat Network, where partner nations are able to share sensitive information within an exercise scenario to deter transnational threat networks and to combine their capabilities to track and intercept illegal activities in the region.
(3) Rapid Response, where partner nations strengthen their abilities to rapidly respond to all other contingencies.
(4) Partnership, where partner nations develop friendly networks and enhance civil-military response.
Phase one of the exercise is being hosted by the Dominican Republic from May 29th to June 9th and Phase two will be hosted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines from June 12th-22nd 2019.
Belize’s contingent is led by Major Justo Véliz of the BDF who is Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force Land Command for this exercise.