News Release: WARWICK CAMP, Bermuda – Soldiers and officers will travel to Guyana next month for Exercise Tradewinds 23. They will be put through their paces in a programme developed by the US Southern Command – a combatant command within the US Department of Defence tasked with providing contingency planning, operations and security cooperation in its area of responsibility, which includes Central and South America as well as parts of the Caribbean.
Organisations from 25 countries will be represented at Tradewinds 23, where training will cover ground, air, sea and cyber operations.
The deployment of RBR troops will also include members of the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Suriname National Army.
Tradewinds 23 will allow elements of the Royal Bermuda Regiment to train in high intensity operations over a protracted time period as part of a multinational force – on a scale that is not possible in Bermuda – in order to enhance overall operational effectiveness and reciprocal working relationships.
Major Duncan Simons, Officer Commanding B Company and the officer in charge of the RBR’s Exercise Tradewinds 23 company, said: “The reason for this exercise is to facilitate interoperability between the countries, to build goodwill and to facilitate common standards of training.”
Royal Bermuda Regiment troops prepared for the trip last weekend at Warwick Camp, where they took part in fitness assessments and team-building activities, and carried out kit checks and other administrative tasks.
For Private Tiante Swan, of Devonshire, Tradewinds 23 will be the second time he has travelled overseas with the RBR, after a trip to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina last year.
The 25-year-old, who is a skilled labourer in his civilian life and enlisted in 2021, said: “The Regiment exposes you to different things that you might think you wouldn’t be able to do in Bermuda.
“A lot of people join because they want to fire weapons, but sometimes you get to go to another country.
“In Guyana we’ll be working with 24 other countries – it exposes you to a whole range of different people and lifestyles. It makes you think about life a little bit differently.
“At the same time you’re going to be challenged mentally and physically but it’s a great learning experience that you can take into all different aspects of your life.”
Soldiers took part in a team-building exercise called Jigsaw on Saturday, when they were given a number of objectives to achieve – each one earning them a puzzle piece – within a set time. Activities included navigating between two points while blindfolded and climbing over a wall on the camp’s assault course.
Private Kayla Raymond, a 21-year-old kennel assistant of St George’s, said the exercise promoted good teamwork and how to effectively use different senses.
Looking ahead to Tradewinds 23, she added: “I’m probably most looking forward to meeting different people from other countries and learning how they work in their armies.”