CAF provides Headquarters Mentoring Team to Exercise TRADEWINDS 17

Three men seated at a desk looking at papers
Captain Sébastien Gauthier from 2nd Canadian Division explains Mission Analysis to Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard members during the Operational Planning Process training at Exercise TRADEWINDS 17 in San Juan, Trinidad on June 4, 2017. (Photo: Captain Christopher Daniel, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)


By Captain Christopher Daniel, CAF Exercise TRADEWINDS Public Affairs

Twelve Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members taught the Operational Planning Process (OPP) and mentored various Caribbean militaries during Exercise TRADEWINDS 17.

This military planning process is intended to aid commanders and their staffs in developing effective operational plans, with a focus on mission analysis and course of action development.

“Our objective here is to standardize the planning process of our military partners in the Caribbean region with the view of building their capacity as operational planners in their respective headquarters, particularly during crisis situations such as natural disasters,” said Major Talarico, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Royal Montreal Regiment and lead instructor for the Headquarters Mentoring Team in Trinidad.

Six CAF members from 2nd Canadian Division were in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, while six more from 5th Canadian Division were in Barbados, teaching OPP during the initial phase of TRADEWINDS 17. The militaries involved operate at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Task Force (CTF) Headquarters (HQ) in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition to the planning process training, the HQ Mentoring Team members serve as advisors and mentors for staff as they manage responses to challenging scenarios during the exercise.

“The HQ Mentoring Team aims to facilitate the use of the OPP by the CTF HQ and to conduct after actions reviews and capture lessons learned during the exercise,” said Lieutenant-Colonel John Woodgate, Commanding Officer of 1st Field Regiment and Team Leader for the Barbados Defence Force Mentor Team working with the CTF HQ.

“It has been very rewarding for CAF members to share our experiences at the Joint Task Force level with the CTF during Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017,” he added.

TRADEWINDS is an annual exercise involving partner nations in the Caribbean region, the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. During this exercise, they enhance their ability to work together and strengthen regional defence capabilities in addressing threats to security and stability in the Caribbean.

“What we try to do during this exercise is to develop our capabilities in terms of dealing with certain critical issues of concern to the Caribbean nations like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as countering transnational organized crimes,” said Colonel Roger Carter, Assistant Chief Staff Officer for Operations of the Trinidad and Tobago D Force and Lead Planner for TRADEWINDS 17.

“The OPP training and HQ mentorship being given by the Canadian Armed Forces to the participants will set them up for success in operating within the headquarters during challenging situations,” he added.

One of the participants said that the training is important to him as it helps him achieve his objective of being an effective staff officer with solid foundation in operational planning.

“The training that we’re doing is a very structured program; it is very informative and I believe that the knowledge and skills that we develop here will serve us well not only during this exercise but more importantly when we apply it on real time operations,” said Lieutenant Jared Johnetty of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.

Exercise TRADEWINDS will continue until June 17, 2017.

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