Clearance divers head to Caribbean

Caribbean divers cut ropes while executing a bottom cleanup during Exercise Tradewinds 16 in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.

Caribbean divers cut ropes while executing a bottom cleanup during Exercise Tradewinds 16 in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Two diving personnel from Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) are heading to the Caribbean later this month to take part in international military diving exercises off the waters of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

Divers will deploy May 27 for this year’s edition of Exercise Tradewinds. They will rendezvous with 10 personnel from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) and administration staff for the exercise that runs June 6 to 11 in Barbados, and then moves to the island of Trinidad and Tobago June 12 to 17.

Divers and instructors will offer dive skills related to search and rescue, counter terrorism and ways to disrupt drug smugglers, to military divers from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago defence forces.

Lt(N) Greg Richards, Training Officer at FDU(A), who has been planning and coordinating the exercise for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), says Exercise Tradewinds is designed to promote regional security and cooperation in the Caribbean.

“Participation in this training mission provides an excellent opportunity to foster interoperability amongst international dive teams while enhancing their capability,” he adds.

The team of RCN divers, dive instructors and medical support staff will be joined by personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Southern Command.

Military divers from the host countries will be trained in sunken vessel assessment, evidence and human remains recovery, search patterns, jetty and hull searches, and identifying foreign objects such as mines and explosives.

Exercise Tradewinds is an annual event and has been held yearly following the creation of the Canadian-U.S. Caribbean Defence Cooperation framework in June 2013, and an engagement strategy in July 2012.

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