DVIDS – News – Barbados Hosts Multinational Exercise: Marines Strengthen Bonds with 25 Partners and Allies at TRADEWINDS 24

DVIDS – News – Barbados Hosts Multinational Exercise: Marines Strengthen Bonds with 25 Partners and Allies at TRADEWINDS 24

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados Defence Force hosted U.S. Marines, other U.S. military personnel and military forces from 24 other countries for the 39th edition of Tradewinds, a multi-domain, multi-national exercise hosted by U.S. Southern Command designed to foster regional security cooperation.

TRADEWINDS 24 (TW24) spanned the entire island nation of Barbados, from sea, air, land and cyberspace, as allies and partners worked together to build capabilities, improve readiness and strengthen relationships.

Marines from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division will hone their warfighting skills while integrating with partner and allied ground forces from May 3 to May 16, 2024.

“Tradewinds 24 trained a variety of fundamental infantry and field skills. As a company commander, I was able to learn about joint planning and interoperability. [between] “We worked hard to strengthen our relationships with our partner nations and allies,” said Capt. David Craft, company commander of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. “As an infantry company commander, success is about improving the lethality and survivability of my Marines and all participants. I believe our success was due to the skills we brought to the table and the training we were able to execute.”

Alpha Company Marines were able to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures and tackle a variety of scenarios using technology shared by allies and partners within the integrated squad.

“We’re working with Jamaica and Barbados, and the French and the Coast Guard are mentoring us here. It’s hard at first, and when you have new guys on your unit, it takes a little time to get everyone on board, even internally, but we’re starting to feel like we’re hitting the sweet spot,” said Corporal Brandon Doucette, Alpha Company’s squad leader. “If anything happens, we’ve seen how they do it and they’ve seen us. There’s already been some good friendships, which is important.”

The exchange of knowledge and expertise was invaluable: many experiences that are common in one country are rare in another, giving participants in the exercise a diverse set of skills to learn from and hone.

“It was a great experience for me because we learned a lot from other countries. We shared a lot. In Curacao we conduct a lot of vehicle checks and that was the main training for other countries. And yesterday we patrolled and made contacts and learned a lot. We had a new experience. I’m very excited about the new type of training we’re going to receive,” said a marine from Curacao who asked to remain anonymous for his safety.

While the Infantry Marines of Company A were training with their peers on the ground in Barbados, their fellow Marines from Signal Battalion, 6th, were training in defensive cyber operations with partners in Miami, Santiago, Chile and Mexico City. This cyber training helps strengthen and hone the cyber capabilities of our partner nations, while also helping to strengthen cyber defenses across the region.

“This was the first iteration of the Tradewinds and Resolute Sentinel Cybertrucks, a combined effort of approximately 250 students total across multiple country sites. This resulted in cyber range operations across 14 defensive cyber operations team fire events including host/network enumeration, incident response, cyber threat emulation, and various other cyberspace warfare objectives to enhance our partners’ cyberspace capabilities,” said Chief Warrant Officer Travis Nichols, 6th Signal Battalion’s defensive cyberspace weapons officer. “Whether they were blue team instructors on the ranges in Chile and Mexico, or Marines in Doral, Fla., providing cyber intelligence and red cell (cyber adversary) support on targets, every Marine played a vital role in the overall execution of the exercise. This is the second year of conducting a cyberspace security cooperation exercise with our USSOUTHCOM partners, and we are pleased to see the growth from the last iteration.”

Lt. Gen. Len Anderson, commander of Marine Corps Southern Command, believes such training is a practice that must continue to ensure mutual security and prosperity.

“The opportunity to train side by side with our Caribbean partners is invaluable. We are building important relationships and strengthening ties here on Tradewinds that will contribute greatly to responding to any crisis or emergency we face and maintaining peace in the Western Hemisphere. Sergeant Major Mota and I had the opportunity to watch our Marines train alongside units from Barbados, France, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Bahamas, Canada, Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize and Antigua. It was wonderful to see young professionals from this region strengthen and encourage each other,” said Anderson. “We are especially grateful to the Barbados Defence Force and the great people of Barbados for hosting such world-class training on their beautiful island and look forward to next year.”

U.S. Southern Command works with allies, partner nations and U.S. Government (USG) team members to enhance security and protect the U.S. homeland and interests while deterring aggression, defeating threats, responding rapidly to crises, and building regional capacity.

MARFORSOUTH is the service of U.S. Southern Command and is responsible for all U.S. Marine Corps activities in Central and South America and the Caribbean. MARFORSOUTH works with allies, partner nations and U.S. government team members to provide contingency planning, operations and security cooperation planning to deter aggression, defeat threats, rapidly respond to crises and build regional capacity while enhancing security and helping to defend the U.S. homeland and interests. (Article by U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Gabriel Durand)

Data collected: May 23, 2024
Posted on: May 24, 2024 10:09
Story ID: 472147
position: B.B.

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