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Each Caribbean territory will lead the way in a specialty to strengthen the collective.
The defence and security forces across the Caribbean will now be centres of excellence for various aspects of tactical response and training.
Barbados will now act as the centre of excellence for the faculty of medicine to train soldiers and officers and work with regional and international security partners to improve and enhance responses from all participants in the short, medium and long-term.
“Guyana and Belize will be in charge of jungle training”
Moreover, “Barbados will maintain responsibility for medical response. We will also maintain responsibility for non-commissioned officer developmental training and also for drill and ceremonial,” disclosed the Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Commodore Errington Shurland to Loop News.
This was one of the decisions that came out of talks during the UK Caribbean Defence Heads Conference held at Hilton Barbados.
Furthermore, he explained:
“Trinidad and Tobago will maintain responsibility for developing the maritime-type training. Guyana and Belize will be in charge of jungle training and special operations, recognising that we have to be a bit flexible. Jamaica, they already have the Caribbean Military Academy.
“It is really how we can bring our resources and not necessarily depend wholly and solely on development partners. So if we can bring the training into the region, then we get more bang for the buck. And that’s the approach because we do need that training, but it matters how best we utilise the very limited and finite resources that we all have, including our partners.”
Speaking to the media today at the field medical camp located at the Garrison Savannah across from St Ann’s Fort, as the conference culminated, United Armed Forces (UK) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin agreed that the centres are one of the key takeaways as each territory will have its own niche responsibility to make the region stronger and more secure.
“we have the confidence in each other that one particular nation takes the lead”
The Admiral told reporters, looking at Barbados, “How can we come together to train our non-commissioned officers? And rather than everybody duplicating, can we specialise, can we have centres of excellence around the region”
“So we have had a conversation around, The Bahamas is a centre for excellence for drones and so that we all learn from Bahamas with Bahamas leading the way. We’ve had a conversation about Trinidad and Tobago. Does Trinidad and Tobago lead in terms of the training of maritime junior officers? And do we the UK support that?”
Jamaica has the Jamaican Military Academy, which is “a hook-up with Royal Military Academy in the UK, Sandhurst, for the training of junior army officers.”
So the Admiral challenged, “Can we have the confidence in each other that one particular nation takes the lead and the others invest in that and we all benefit?
“That to me is very, very special. The communion of interest, trust and confidence in this group is so strong and it enables that to happen.” (Loop News)