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Multinational exercise Tradewinds 2023 begins in Guyana

The Caribbean-focused exercise, Tradewinds 2023 (TW23), has officially commenced with an opening ceremony that took place earlier today at Camp Ayanganna.

“The participation of more than 1,500 service members this year exemplifies the shared commitment to one another as we strengthen our partnerships and remain united to share responsibilities as defenders of our common values,” said U.S. Army South Commanding General, Maj. Gen. William Thigpen. “TW23 is key to leveraging the capabilities of like-minded countries to reach common goals and strengthen regional stability.”

Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual exercise designed to strengthen partnerships and interoperability, promote human rights, as well as increase all participants’ training capacity and capability to mitigate, plan for and respond to regional crises and security threats.

TW23 is the 38th iteration of the exercise and will see participants from 21 countries training in the ground, air, sea and cyber domains in various locations across Guyana from July 15-28.

According to Guyana Defense Force Maj. Jaime Castello, lead planner for TW23, this is the second time in three years that Guyana has hosted Tradewinds and there was a great national, regional and international effort put into ensuring the exercise came to fruition.

“Now, after months of planning, extensive coordination and tireless organizing we have finally arrived at this momentous occasion,” said Castello. “The planning committees, logistical teams and those involved have worked tirelessly to produce a plan… and design realistic scenarios that will challenge, inspire and foster growth among the participants.”

These plans will achieve the goals of the exercise as well as improve interagency interoperability according to the U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, the Honorable Sarah-Ann Lynch.

“The goal of this exercise is to improve the security responses of participating Caribbean nations and focus on skills building in interdiction, security and interagency cooperation,” said Lynch. “Participation of intergovernmental organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Regional Security System, the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency are especially crucial to the success of this exercise.”

The Tradewinds exercise has been held annually since 1984, only missing one year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goals of enhancing the collective ability of participating nations’ defense forces to counter regional threats and conduct humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations while developing strong relationships and reinforcing human rights awareness.

Source: U.S. Army

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