US, Caribbean nations practice vessel pursuit during Tradewinds 2015 on St.Kitts

St.Kitts' Lt Col Wallace at Opening of Tradewinds 2015

St.Kitts’ Lt Col Wallace at Opening of Tradewinds 2015

CHRISTOPHE HARBOUR, St. Kitts – Military and law enforcement officials from 14 nations participating in Tradewinds 2015, collaborate to discuss and practice tactics in stopping non-compliant vessels June 1 in Christophe Harbour at St. Kitts.

Five 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement boats and 20 boat coxswains from 13 Caribbean nations and the United States Coast Guard participated in the collaboration and practice session.

Non-compliant vessel pursuit tactics are used in various situations, but in particular they are used in alien migration and drug interdiction.11295683_652440034857050_412073166873611374_n

“Maritime law enforcement is most effective when working in cooperation with our partner nations,” said Chief Petty Officer Destry Bowen, track lead for boat operations at Tradewinds 2015. “The goal of this track is to develop best practices, procedures and tactics to stop non-compliant boats during law enforcement missions.”

The St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard, Grenada Coast Guard, Commonwealth of Dominica and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force own the five boats used in this practice session. They are the same style of boats operated by the U.S. Coast Guard in law enforcement missions.

“These nations have purchased these boats in part to the success that the U.S. Coast Guard has had with the 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement boat,” said Bowen.

Mitigating risk during missions is also an important component of boat operations said Bowen. The U.S. Coast Guard uses the Green-Amber-Red model as an operational risk assessment tool to help crews assess the risk of an operation.

During the non-compliant vessel exercise, the boat crews were given the chance to use this technology.

“If there is one thing that the U.S. Coast Guard offers to the Caribbean nation boat drivers, it is evaluating the operational risk,” said Bowen. “We use what is called the GAR model and only two non-U.S. Coast Guard personnel knew what the GAR model was.”

Using the GAR model allows Coast Guardsmen to collaborate and discuss ways to strengthen their maritime security tactics he said.

“Each nation and each person brings different levels of experience and we can all learn from each other,” said Bowen.450x312_q95

Tradewinds 2015 is a joint, combined exercise conducted in conjunction with 19 partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and to conduct humanitarian/disaster relief operations.

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