Exchanging best practices on ship boarding procedures during TRADEWINDS 19
By: Captain Christopher Daniel
Maritime Tactical Operators from the Royal Canadian Navy are working with specialists from the United States Coast Guard in delivering training activities to partner navies from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, and Haiti. They are exchanging best practices on ship boarding procedures during the first phase of Exercise TRADEWINDS 19 at Las Calderas Naval Station in the Dominican Republic from May 30 to June 8, 2019.
“We are training with our Caribbean allies and the United States Coast Guard to hone our collective ability to operate in a complex security environment,” said Lieutenant (Navy) [Lt(N)] Benjamin Scott, Naval Warfare Officer and Deputy Commanding Officer of the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) out of CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Exercise TRADEWINDS is a United States-led multinational joint exercise that focuses on strengthening safety and security in the Caribbean region. Held annually, this year’s exercise marks the 35th year since its inception. There are 22 partner nations training together to increase regional cooperation in complex security and humanitarian operations.
“Our team is composed of five NTOG personnel,” said Lt(N) Scott. “In addition, we have two members of the United States Coast Guard assisting in delivering the training. We find it very efficient to work with them as we have very similar tactics, techniques and procedures,” he added.
The naval tactical training activities include personnel handling, such as detention and searching of persons that would come under the control of the boarding party team. It also includes the safe embarkation and securing of vessels.
“We make our training scenarios as realistic as possible. We share with the training participants our procedures for the safe movement within the small boats that are used for insertion and boarding, as well as the communications and the searching of the vessels themselves,” explained Lt(N) Scott.
One of the training participants from the Dominican Navy is Sailor Randy Disla.
“Both the theoretical and practical aspects of the training are very useful for me,” said Sailor Disla. “We practiced all various aspects of boarding party process ranging from first aid, to boarding control techniques and boat maneuvering. These things that we learned from each other are things that I can bring back to my home unit and share with my colleagues.”
With the knowledge of each other’s tactics, techniques, and procedures, partner nations can work together more efficiently when called upon to protect the security of the Caribbean waters.
TRADEWINDS is sponsored by United States Southern Command and is a joint, multinational, and interagency training exercise with participation this year from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States.