By Dialogo April 14, 2010 Approximately 450 U.S., U.K., and Caribbean nations’ security forces will participate in the 26th annual Tradewinds exercise, April 12-26 at the Belize Defence Force Price Barracks. An additional component of the exercise will be conducted in Jamaica. Fifteen Caribbean nations will participate along with the U.S. and U.K. Tradewinds is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs directed, U.S. Southern Command sponsored annual exercise that is conducted in cooperation with Caribbean Basin Partner Nations. The exercise is designed to improve cooperation and interoperability of Partner Nations in responding to regional security threats. U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, in Miami, is the executive agent for the exercise. Tradewinds 2010 will focus on regional defense, consisting of two phases – green in Belize and blue in Jamaica. The green phase will provide a tactical level training venue to exercise core infantry skills, policing and investigative techniques, hazardous material identification and handling, and vessel boarding party operations. The blue phase will focus on maritime interdiction and search and rescue operations with an emphasis on command and control. “The goal of Tradewinds 2010 is to increase cooperation among partner nations. This exercise will help to improve key tactical skills in marksmanship, investigative operations, search and rescue and maritime interdiction operations,” said Maj. Eric Dominijanni, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, exercise coordinator. “The U.S. and the Caribbean share common interests, and regional challenges require cooperative solutions. We are committed to building lasting partnerships that will enhance our ability to work effectively together.” Tradewinds 2010 is a maritime operations exercise that supports USSOUTHCOM’s theatre security cooperation objectives and exercises the assets and capability provided under the Enduring Friendship program. Enduring Friendship is a USSOUTHCOM sponsored program to build maritime security capabilities throughout the Caribbean. The program provides high-speed interceptor boats with extensive communication and surveillance suites, as well as, a command, control and communication package that links U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) with partner nation’s operations centers to track and coordinate the seizure of illicit maritime traffic. The nations that will participate in Exercise Tradewinds 2010 are Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Kitts-Neves, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, United Kingdom and United States. Tradewinds is a joint-combined, interagency exercise and will involve U.S. personnel from the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, JIATF-S, Naval Criminal Investigative (NCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.