SOUTHCOM Commander to visit Barbados & Eastern Caribbean
U.S. Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), will visit Barbados until the 13th of this month to meet with security leaders and discuss U.S.-Caribbean cooperation against regional threats and challenges. Faller will meet Lt. Col. Michael Jones, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security. They will discuss U.S. support for the agency’s efforts, including international cooperation to improve information sharing and disrupt transnational criminal organizations.
Faller will participate in a similar meeting with the leaders from the Regional Security System (RSS), an important Caribbean partner that supports international efforts to combat narcotics trafficking in the region. Through the US$74.8 million regional Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States supports the RSS Air Wing, which conducts maritime air patrols to detect illicit trafficking in Caribbean and Atlantic waters in close cooperation with SOUTHCOM’s Joint Interagency Task Force South. Additionally, Admiral Faller will host a security roundtable with security chiefs from across the Eastern Caribbean to discuss partnerships in addressing regional threats and enhancing resiliency to natural disasters and response capabilities.
The Admiral will also discuss security and humanitarian assistance with senior Barbados government officials, such as the US$45,000 that SOUTHCOM provided to assist with Barbados’ COVID-19 response. This assistance included donations of PPE and medical equipment to restock the US$1.7M field hospital donated by SOUTHCOM in 2019, used in Barbados’ management of the pandemic.
He will also visit the headquarters of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and meet with Executive Director Elizabeth Riley. They will discuss SOUTHCOM’s support for disaster preparedness in the Caribbean and the region’s capacity to rapidly respond in the aftermath of natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
SOUTHCOM has a longstanding history of supporting U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to Caribbean countries impacted by disasters and life-threatening emergencies, most recently supporting the region’s ongoing response to the global pandemic. SOUTHCOM has also supported over two dozen disaster response assistance projects to the Eastern Caribbean since 2020, including recent deliveries of window replacements for emergency public shelters in Barbados, assistance projects in response to the volcanic eruption in St. Vincent, two Emergency Operation Centers and warehouses in Grenada, and 10 field hospitals to be delivered to national disaster management agencies throughout the Eastern Caribbean.