LADYVILLE, Belize (Army News Service, May 24, 2007) - Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers trained alongside soldiers of 14 Caribbean nations here during Tradewinds 2007 May 5-16.

The combined, interagency training exercise is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, and is designed to strengthen regional partnerships between military, police and civil organizations.

A 12-day event, this year's exercise focused on such things as disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, crowd and riot control, and hazardous-material handling.

The Army Reserve's 652nd Regional Support Group from Helena, Mont., supplied water, food and tents, as well as laundry facilities, transportation, medical aid and maintenance.

"This is my first Tradewinds and it has been a very positive experience," said Sgt. Jermaine Howard, a cook with the 479th Chemical Battalion. "The logistical mission is the same no matter where you are from, but the fact that we all come from different units and can come together to work as a team is a big plus."

Lt. Dewayne Edwards from the Trinidad Defense Force said he appreciated the chance to train with Soldiers of other nations.

"I like to gain knowledge. Coming into an environment where people from around the world come together to train is the best way to get the knowledge," Lt. Edwards said.

Spc. Brandon Schafer was responsible for supplying water and ice throughout living and training areas. "I like the interaction with the other countries and getting to know them," he said.

"Exercises like this allow for the different services to work together and to learn each others' standard operating procedures," added Marine Gunnery Sgt. Troy Nicks. "It helps to train together during these exercises, so when we combine for the war on terror, we can come together seamlessly."

(Information taken from a press release by the 314th Press Camp Headquarters.)

Page last updated Thu May 24th, 2007 at 13:05