Canadian Armed Forces participate in Exercise TRADEWINDS 17

News Release

June 2, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have deployed to the Caribbean to train with regional partners and participate in Exercise TRADEWINDS 17, taking place from June 6 to 17.

As part of the 19-nation exercise, the CAF is deploying elements from the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army—approximately 90 personnel in all. TRADEWINDS 17 will exercise regional responses to natural disasters, terrorism, and transnational organized crime. This United States-led exercise will take place on the island nations of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

Exercise TRADEWINDS provides an important opportunity for the CAF to enhance readiness and strengthen defence relationships between partner nations for civilian government-led disaster response efforts. It also aims to strengthen regional defence capacities to address threats to security and stability in the Caribbean.


“The Canadian Armed Forces play an important role in the Government of Canada’s efforts in the Caribbean region through efforts like Exercise TRADEWINDS and Operation CARIBBE. Participation in Exercise TRADEWINDS allows our personnel to make a meaningful contribution in capacity-building with regional partners and gives the Canadian Armed Forces the opportunity to work with important allies in response to a variety of challenges.”

—    Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“Exercise TRADEWINDS is a great opportunity for the CAF to share our expertise and assist our Caribbean partners in building their capacity. Whether through exercises like TRADEWINDS or on counter-drug operations, we remain committed to promoting security cooperation in the region.”

—    Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command

Quick Facts

  • The Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution will consist of one Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Kingston) and a diver training team from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic). Additional support includes a Maritime Tactical Operations Group training team.

  • HMCS Kingston, with a crew of about 40, will support various naval tasks within the exercise, including employing the Hammerhead Unmanned Surface Vehicle target. The Fleet Dive Unit (Atlantic) will lead training to divers from ten partner nations in areas including search patterns, hull and jetty search techniques, evidence recovery, and nighttime diving operations. This includes partnering with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to teach underwater evidence recovery techniques. 

  • The Canadian Army will provide two six-person contingents from the 2nd and 5th Canadian Army Divisions. Just prior to the exercise, they will provide essential training in operational planning to staff from partner nations. Once the exercise begins, they will serve as advisors and mentors for those staff as they manage responses to challenging scenarios.

  • The Canadian Disaster Assessment Team (CDAT) will also deploy in response to a simulated humanitarian crisis during the exercise. This joint CAF and Global Affairs Canada team will practice coordinating with regional partners.

  • Canada is partnering with Trinidad and Tobago to practice a scenario under the Proliferation Security Initiative. It will include a counter proliferation component simulating the interdiction of a merchant ship suspected of carrying illegal WMD-related materials.

  • Participating nations in the exercise include: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago—as well as military personnel from the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Related Products

Associated Links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: