Defense and public-security planners from the Caribbean, Central America, North America, and Europe met Jan. 31-Feb. 4 in Chetumal, Mexico, to discuss planning details for the annual, multinational, multi-domain exercise Tradewinds.
Mexico and Belize will co-host this year’s Tradewinds May 7-21, with Mexico playing host to naval exercise activities and Belize hosting the land activities. This year marks the first time Mexico co-hosts Tradewinds since the exercise was first conducted in 1984.
U.S. Southern Command sponsors Tradewinds, a Caribbean-focused regional exercise in which participating forces hone their skills during land, air, sea, and cybersecurity scenarios requiring a united response.
This week’s meeting is the second of three planning conferences in preparation for the exercise.
This year will be the thirty-seventh time nations take part in Tradewinds. In 2020, the exercise was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twenty nations will join the U.S., Belize, and Mexico in this year’s Tradewinds, and approximately 1,500 total uniformed and civilian personnel will participate in the exercise.
Nations invited to participate are Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Netherlands, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.
The exercise objectives include expanding the region’s capacity to mitigate, plan for, and respond to crises; strengthening partnerships; increasing readiness; and promoting human rights and adherence to internationally recognized laws and agreements.
Exercise activities will focus on interoperability, riverine operations, maritime security, air operations, ground operations, cyber defense, dive operations, medical operations, and the integration of women in peace and security missions.
U.S. participants will include Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and special operations personnel. Additionally, National Guard forces from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, South Carolina and the District of Columbia will also participate.