HMCS Kingston leads gunnery and evacuation training during Exercise TRADEWINDS 17
By: Lieutenant (Navy) Kyle Allward
This past month, members on Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Kingston had the opportunity to deploy to the Caribbean during Exercise TRADEWINDS 17. Among a myriad of taskings, members of HMCS Kingston had two leadership opportunities where they shared their experience with partner nations.
Exercise TRADEWINDS was designed to promote regional security and continue to develop cooperation initiatives. The exercise offers the Canadian Armed Forces and other Canadian government agencies a unique opportunity to synchronize Canada’s initiatives in the region. During its time on station, HMCS Kingston has been moving the yardsticks to meet those goals.
HMCS Kingston developed and controlled a gunnery exercise with participating units from five different nations. During this shoot, sailors were embarked from Guyana, Suriname, Haiti, Bahamas, and St Kitts and Nevis. They had the opportunity to take part in every stage of the serial.
Later, HMCS Kingston took the lead in organising the on-scene maritime response to an evacuation scenario. In the scenario, a simulated natural disaster struck the east coast of Barbados. In this role, HMCS Kingston coordinated the deployment of small boats from four participating nations, and the transfer of personnel to waiting French and American ships.
“TRADEWINDS is an excellent venue to foster the multilateral relationships that benefit both our regional partners and Canada,” said Lieutenant Commander Paul Mountford, Commanding Officer of HMCS Kingston. “The exercise helps builds networks, which in times of crisis prove to be so important in the initial stages of a Canadian response.”
Beyond the work done at sea, TRADEWINDS 17 presented a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Royal Canadian Navy and its sailors. HMCS Kingston had the honour of hosting a reception on June 5, 2017, on behalf of the Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados, Ms. Marie Legault. The event showcased the ship and crew to political leaders and ambassadorial staff of many partner countries.
Exercise TRADEWINDS 17 wrapped up on June 17, 2017. This was the 33rd iteration of the exercise, which is held every year. This year, soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen of 20 partner nations deployed to the exercise. They trained together on the island nations of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on responses to natural disasters, terrorism, and countering transnational crime.
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