Twenty-five security officials from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean are better equipped to carry out training programs focused on crisis response, interoperability and readiness in the Caribbean as a result of the Canadian Army Exercise Planning and Execution Course (CAEPEC), which concluded on Friday in Barbados.
The graduation ceremony was a fitting conclusion to the two-week training course facilitated by four members of the Canadian Armed Forces at the request of the Regional Security System (RSS).
Deputy Director of the RSS, Mr. Graham Archer, expressed sincere gratitude to Canada for their continued support in the development of Regional Security System programmes, and pointed out that this training was essential as the RSS was preparing for the UNITY Exercise in 2024.
“The UNITY exercise is very important to the Caribbean region as it provides a platform for large numbers of security personnel, from within our borders, to participate in a training exercise designed to prepare countries for any eventuality which may pose a threat to our region. We have not had the Unity Exercise for a number of years, and now that we have an opportunity to resume that initiative it is crucial that we provide ample training for our officers so that they may be equipped with the skills to plan and execute a Unity Exercise.”
The rigorous training provided participants from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados Police Service, Barbados Defence Force, Royal Grenada Police Force, Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, and the Regional Security System with practical experience in planning training to support readiness, crisis response and operational coherence in advance of Exercise TRADEWINDS.
The CAEPEC allowed participants to work collaboratively to prepare and present planning products through the various stages of an exercise planning process, to share best practices from previous experiences, to expand their networks of contacts, and to develop detailed course materials applicable to their home countries.
In her address, High Commissioner of Canada H.E. Lilian Chatterjee shared, “Peace and security in the Caribbean impacts peace and security in Canada and vice versa. We need strong and vibrant partnerships, such as the ones demonstrated here today, to respond effectively to security threats in our region and beyond. That’s why Canada is a partner on Exercise TRADEWINDS, and proud to help facilitate this course.”
She further thanked all regional participants, security partners, and the visiting Canadian instructors — Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Hale, Clayton Purvis, Major Jean-Pierre Dorris and Chief Warrant Officer Alexander Hostler.
A joint initiative between Canada, the RSS and its member states, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Barbados Defence Force, these training opportunities reflect a deep commitment by partners to build a safer, more secure and more prosperous Caribbean region.