Tradewinds 2012 – Caribbean Defense Officers Undergo Ground Training
Defense officers from across the Caribbean just responded to a riot, confronting armed suspects and mulling over hostage negotiation dilemmas.
These were all fictional scenarios that were part of Tradewinds 2012, the ongoing regional military training exercise funded by the United States Southern Command.
Paragon was a hive of activity as scores of police and army officers went through various training exercises at the base of the Barbados Defense Force (BDF) and at the nearby Regional Police Training Center (RPTC).
At the BDF, regional army officers practiced riot response techniques, including keeping formation, learning commands and learning how to use riot shields effectively.
Much of the training was focused on perfecting formations which are essential to law enforcement during a riot, with officers locking arms behind massive riot shields and moving in time towards the “aggressor.”
Over at the Regional Police Training Center, police officers practiced high risk vehicle stops, going over the techniques needed to safely remove an armed suspect or suspects from a vehicle. Elements included “surprise” attacks by suspects hidden in the car trunk.
In addition to the practical training, Tradewinds has involved classroom training to reinforce the lessons being learned. In the nearby Regional Police Training Center classrooms, scores of regional officers discussed hostage negotiation scenarios and best practices, raising pertinent questions relevant to their specific countries and experiences.
Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual security training exercise. It is an inter-agency, multi-national exercise designed to enhance the collective abilities of Caribbean defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.