Defence Team News – Exercise TRADEWINDS 2023

Video / August 25, 2023


LCol Stephen Hale: Good day, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Hale. I'm currently the Contingent Commander Forward deployed in Georgetown, Guyana, leading Exercise TRADEWINDS and a small Canadian contingent of approximately 20 soldiers. Generally, about 20 countries participate on an annual basis, and Canada's real key objectives here are to increase interoperability and enhance our situational awareness in the region. So, as part of TRADEWINDS, as we're working in the region, both our Officers involved in the Humanitarian and Disaster Assistance, as well as supporting the operational planning process in the Caribbean Taskforce, learn to operate with our regional partners, increasing their understanding of Canadian processes, and our understanding of how they operate regionally.

Maj Marc Coté: My task had two parts. For the first week I was here, I was teaching some Junior Officers from the Guyana Defence Force about tactical planning. For the second part of my task, I was assigned to the Operations Centre of the Caribbean Task Force to help mentor the personnel who work in Operations.

Capt Kimberly Ervin: So, as Canadians over TRADEWINDS, we have had more of a guidance role. So, our first step, when we first got here, was guiding the Caribbean Task Force Headquarters through what the operational planning process is. How to go from a problem into deliverable tasks for troops on the ground. So, our role has been initially getting them comfortable with how to process that information, and then slowly as the exercise progresses, we're stepping back and letting them run the show. I have never been outside of North America before. So, for me to come and share what I do and what I love with other countries… and not just one specific country, several… It's been quite a rewarding experience. And I think… not even "I think"… I know that when I leave, I leave with confidence knowing that we have helped them throughout our time here.

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