Tradewinds 2009/USA/Karibik

Coast Guard Trains Part­ner Nations in Exer­cise Tradewinds

By Marine Corps Sgt. Sheila Brooks and Lance Cpl. Ran­dall Lit­tle
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Service 

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 10, 2009 — Coast Guards­men from Dis­trict 7, Tac­ti­cal Law Enforce­ment Detach­ment, are tak­ing part in Tradewinds 2009, a U.S. South­ern Com­mand-spon­sored exer­cise designed to increase mar­itime security. 

Coast Guard Chief Pet­ty Offi­cer Gus­ta­vo Tira­do demon­strates defen­sive tech­niques dur­ing com­pli­ant board­ing train­ing for ser­vice­mem­bers from the Domini­can Repub­lic Defence Forces at Roy­al Bahamas Defence Force Base in Coral Har­bour, Bahamas, March 6, 2009.
U.S. Marine Corps pho­to by Sgt. Sheila M. Brooks 

The Coast Guards­men trained ser­vice­mem­bers from part­ner nations in com­pli­ant and non­com­pli­ant board­ing March 6 to 8 at the Roy­al Bahamas Defence Force Base in Coral Harbour. 

The exer­cise — which includes par­tic­i­pants from the Unit­ed States, Great Britain and 16 Caribbean coun­tries — is focused on mar­itime inter­dic­tion and search-and-res­cue oper­a­tions, with an empha­sis on com­mand and con­trol. The exer­cise began March 4 and runs through March 18. 

As part of Tradewinds’ goal to increase mar­itime secu­ri­ty, the com­pli­ant and non­com­pli­ant board­ing train­ing will help to ensure part­ner nations are able to exe­cute the nec­es­sary mea­sures when called upon to board a ves­sel — with the appro­pri­ate use of force — to pre­vent ille­gal trafficking. 

“The focus of this year’s activ­i­ties on mar­itime inter­dic­tion is crit­i­cal and time­ly, and is in line with our deter­mi­na­tion that every effort should be made to pre­vent a sig­nif­i­cant upsurge in drug traf­fick­ing in the Caribbean region,” Bahamas Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Min­is­ter O.A. “Tom­my” Turn­quest said dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­monies of the exercise. 

Coast Guards­men instruct­ed their part­ner nation coun­ter­parts in the prop­er way to approach a ves­sel occu­pant in a nonag­gres­sive man­ner — slow­ly walk­ing toward the sub­ject with their hands open, palms fac­ing the subject. 

“When deal­ing with com­pli­ant occu­pants of a ves­sel, it’s like deal­ing with [peace­ful] pro­tes­tors,” said Coast Guard Chief Pet­ty Offi­cer Matthew Rouse, sta­tioned out of May­port, Fla. 

Even if they don’t imme­di­ate­ly fol­low instruc­tions, “the occu­pants are non­com­bat­ant,” he said. 

The stu­dents were shown tech­niques such as pres­sure points and hand­cuff­ing pro­ce­dures to detain sus­pects who become aggres­sive and show resis­tance, but still are not attack­ing them. 

“Non­com­pli­ant [occu­pants] need a lit­tle bit more con­vinc­ing to coop­er­ate,” Able Sea­man Miska Clarke of the Roy­al Bahamas Defence Force said, “whether it is talk­ing more harsh, get­ting more phys­i­cal or using dead­ly force to achieve the goal of your boarding.” 

If the sit­u­a­tion esca­lates and the occu­pants become vio­lent or aggres­sive, they then would be clas­si­fied as noncompliant. 

“Non­com­pli­ant board­ing is a board­ing in which the board­ing team encoun­ters resis­tance or resent­ment from the crew toward the law enforce­ment pres­ence,” Coast Guard Chief Pet­ty Offi­cer Gus­ta­vo Tira­do, an Islaverde, Puer­to Rico native, said. Part­ner nation ser­vice­mem­bers were instruct­ed in esca­la­tion of force and how to prop­er­ly eval­u­ate when an occu­pant is non­com­pli­ant and how to keep con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion with the cor­rect course of action. 

“It’s very impor­tant for the part­ner nations to learn these skills, because they will be con­duct­ing these oper­a­tions in the future,” Rouse said. “There are a lot of peo­ple out there up to no good, and we want to ensure that our part­ner nations’ ser­vice­mem­bers will have the knowl­edge to deal with those threats.” 

Rouse, whose detach­ment is based out of Mia­mi, said he enjoys the oppor­tu­ni­ty to train oth­er ser­vice­mem­bers and show them how the Coast Guard oper­ates, as well as to build cama­raderie that will ben­e­fit all when hav­ing to coop­er­ate in real-world events. 

“It’s a great chance for us to share with them how we board ves­sels, and also shows them we’re more than will­ing to sup­port them,” Rouse said. 

Nations par­tic­i­pat­ing in Exer­cise Tradewinds 2009 include the Bahamas, Bar­ba­dos, Belize, Domini­ca, Domini­can Repub­lic, Guyana, Haiti, Hon­duras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vin­cent and Grenadines, Suri­name, Trinidad-Toba­go, the Unit­ed King­dom and the Unit­ed States. 

(Marine Corps Sgt. Sheila Brooks and Lance Cpl. Ran­dall Lit­tle are with the Exer­cise Tradewinds 2009 Pub­lic Affairs Detachment.) 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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