Guyana lauded for hosting trade winds exercise; participants may help in flood relief

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Participants of the TRADEWINDS EXERCISE at this morning opening ceremony at GDF’s Headquarter – Base Camp Ayangana

Guyana was lauded for agreeing to host the trade winds joint military exercise, which
kicked off with a ceremony at Camp Ayangana this morning and will see the participation of militaries from 14 countries around the world.

According to the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Kevin Bostick, it is commendable that Guyana agreed to host the exercise and so many persons were able to put their heads together to plan the initiative.

Director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Kevin Bostick

“We will always strive to make sure that we’re building partnerships, teaming with our partners and in this case, give a special thanks to Guyana for hosting Tradewinds 2021. It’s a big endeavor, so thanks for all the joint forces. Coast Guard, navy, marines, air force, army, the defense forces from all the different countries,” Bostwick said.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF), Brigadier General Godfrey Bess, described the exercise as a multi-dimensional one. He lauded the participating countries for braving the COVID-19 pandemic to come out in their numbers, but reminded that COVID protocols will still be in place so that everyone remains safe.

“Tradewinds 2021 is a multi-dimensional exercise that involves troops from the Caribbean,
North and South America and Europe. It is definitely good when partnering nations come
together like this so we can be able to train and partner together,” he said.

GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Godfrey Bess along with participants of the TRADEWINDS EXERCISE

According to Bess, it is also possible that the participating militaries will even help in flood relief efforts across Guyana in the way of logistics. Guyana’s flood situation was recently declared a national disaster by President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

“That is possible in terms of logistics. I’m almost certain that we would have them incorporated in our logistics. Airlift, assisting us to get items into the flood affected areas for example. It would basically be the items we have at the CDC and over the period, have been accumulating,” Bess said.

Military representatives from 14 nations are currently in Guyana for the exercise which is
essentially Caribbean-focused and designed to help participants better respond to natural
disasters and land and maritime threats. EXERCISE TRADEWINDS is sponsored by
USSOUTHCOM.