#Nassau, June 23, 2018 – Bahamas – While bringing Official Remarks at the Tradewinds 2018 exercise closing ceremony, on June 21, 2018, Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said that it was certainly an honour to be there at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force HMBS Coral Harbour among participating parties, who had worked so hard to make that year’s Exercise an outstanding success.
“The efforts of the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other partner nations to improve security cooperation within our region is greatly appreciated,” Minister Dames said.
“As a long time participant in Exercise Tradewinds over the years, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is honoured to have hosted Phase 2 of Tradewinds 2018, and salutes the growth Exercise Tradewinds has experienced over the years,” he added. “The Government of The Bahamas welcomes opportunities such as this where we can take part in strengthening the security of our nation, as well as that of our regional partners.”
Minister Dames extended greetings on behalf of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, who was unable to attend that morning’s closing ceremony due to prior commitments.
“The Prime Minister has asked me to convey his sincerest appreciation for the commitment to regional security invested in Exercise Tradewinds 2018 by the United States Government through the agency of US Southern Command with the support of Northern Command, as well as the support of our CARICOM and international nation-states for this major regional event,” he stated.
Minister Dames pointed out that, whenever different agencies and countries train together in that fashion, the exchange of ideas and knowledge gleaned from experiences, promoted the security and prosperity of those countries.
“I believe these sentiments are also shared by all nations represented here today,” he said.
Minister Dames noted that, as one surveys the security landscape of the region, and that of the world at large, one can all appreciate the necessity of being prepared and ready to collectively counter the devastating effects of transnational crime that had negatively impacted the borders.
“Over the past three weeks, this Exercise Tradewinds 2018 has also strengthened the strong bonds of security cooperation that exist between regional and international partners at the operational and tactical levels,” he said. “This bond is vital to enabling our security forces not only to stand ready, but to also stand together in securing our borders.”
Minister Dames said he was advised that the Exercise achieved its objectives, and that lessons learned would be borne out during Phase 3 of Exercise Tradewinds, when an After Action Report would be presented and discussed.
“I am also advised that the Exercise participants who have all trained and worked hard, will be allowed some time to enjoy a Bahamian cultural show this evening,” he said. “I trust that each of you will take advantage of the opportunity to experience our authentic Bahamian culture this evening.”
Minister Dames extended his thanks to United States Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Nassau, Ms. Stephanie Bowers for the assistance provided by the Embassy.
“I also wish to publicly thank Major General Robert Branyon representing the Commander of the United States Southern Command, and Colonel Tom Bright, who represents the Commander of the United States Northern Command, for appointing teams to assist in planning this major event, and thank you as well to all of our international partners,” he said. “I also thank you, Commodore Bethel, your Executive Command, the Officers, Command Warrant Officer, and Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for your hard work and effort in hosting this successful event.
“Your dual role as guardians of our national heritage and host of Phase 2 of the Tradewinds Exercise 2018 required much time for planning and executing your plans that resulted in the great success for this event.”
Minister Dames acknowledged the multiple Bahamian agencies – Police, Customs, Immigration and Tourism – that worked directly with planning, executing and coordinating the Exercise.
“As we identify our common interests and threats, it is my hope that we, as government leaders and security forces, will continue to work towards the common goal of strengthening regional security,” Minister Dames added. “Let’s continue to fight the good fight against those transnational threats that seek to destroy the fabric of our societies, and deteriorate the quality of life that we desire to achieve and preserve.
“As you return to your place of duty, it is hoped that you apply lessons learned to your future plans and operations for the enhancement of security within your respective countries. Once again, I thank you for your invaluable contributions and participation in making Exercise Tradewinds 2018 a success.”
By: Eric Rose (BIS)
Photo Caption: Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames brings Official Remarks at the Tradewinds 2018 exercise closing ceremony, on June 21, 2018, at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force HMBS Coral Harbour. Tradewinds 2018 was an annual regional military training exercise that was being held in The Bahamas June 14-21 and focused on Countering Transnational Organized crime in the region. The main objective of the military event was to foster training for security forces, “tailored for the region by the region.” It was sponsored by the United States Southern Command. Twenty-two partner nations of the Caribbean region, wider Americas and Western Europe comprising over 800 troops participated in the exercise. The Bahamas last hosted the event in 2009.
(BIS Photos/Eric Rose)