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…says participating countries are learning from each other
By Lisa Hamilton
United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said on Friday that the Tradewinds 2021 exercises being hosted in Guyana this year have helped to provide an informal needs analysis to Guyana’s defence bodies with regards to being best prepared to provide national security.
Speaking with the media at Air Station London, Timehri on Friday, the Ambassador noted that she had spent about two days observing the training and she was impressed. Lynch was able to visit the Jungle and Amphibious Training School (JATS) witnessing water-related and helicopter-related training. She then experienced the shooting range and the use of other equipment at Camp Stephenson.
She told the media that the exercises have been beneficial to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in the form of deepening their relationship and partnership with the US Military and other participating nations.
“This was very much of a multinational exercise, so I think deepening and strengthening those partnerships is really the best part of it. Beyond that, they share techniques, they share different ways of addressing similar issues and so I think it’s very much of a learning experience for everyone,” the Ambassador explained, adding that she was made aware on Thursday that the US Military was very interested to witness Guyana’s boat formation techniques while on water.
On the other hand, as it relates to benefits to Guyana, the US Ambassador said that Guyanese ranks have had the opportunity to be trained by the military from other countries which may have different types of equipment and strategies towards security that are beneficial.
She said: “I think it’s two weeks of needs analysis really because they’re sort of helping each other along the way… it’s not a formal needs analysis, I would say it’s informal, it’s really more about the sharing and the training.”
The Ambassador said that Tradewinds 2021 shows that militaries can work together and the more such training facilitated the better off Guyana and the region will be.
Guyana was scheduled to host Tradewinds in 2020 but this was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other countries involved include the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, US participation includes the U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, U.S. Army National Guard, and elements of U.S. Special Operations Command South.
This is the 36th iteration of Tradewinds. The exercises have been set for June 13-25 and are aimed at joining nations in the Region to participate in joint, combined, and interagency training focused on increasing regional cooperation in complex multinational security operations.