Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Tradewinds 2023 Closing Ceremony
Arthur Chung Conference Center
July 27, 2023
Honorable Brigadier (ret’d) Mark A. Phillips, Prime Minister, performing the duties of President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana;
General Laura Richardson, Commander of U.S. Southern Command;
Brigadier Omar Khan, Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff;
Members of the Diplomatic Community;
Members of the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is an honor to be here, after two short weeks, for the Tradewinds 2023 Closing Ceremony. I want to congratulate everyone on an incredible Tradewinds exercise.
Sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, and hosted by the Guyana Defence Force, Tradewinds is a complex, multi-faceted military exercise that brings Caribbean security forces together to improve critical skillsets. It also fosters increased cooperation through the participation of intergovernmental organizations: Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Regional Security System (RSS), the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management (CDEMA).
This year’s Tradewinds brought participants from 20 nations together to train in multiple domains. Servicemembers honed their jungle warfare skills, learned to conduct maritime interdiction, improved their marksmanship, and practiced crowd control techniques, among many other things.
During yesterday’s Distinguished Visitor Day, I was privileged to observe demonstrations at several sites. I was impressed by the professionalism and dedication of participating security forces, and I applaud those who earned a new qualification or skill.
Women, Peace, and Security training was also integrated into several of the training tracks, from cyber defense to public order, highlighting again the importance of gender considerations in military and police operations.
I would also like to congratulate the Guyana Defence Force on its signing of the U.S. Southern Command Human Rights Initiative earlier today The HRI was established in 1997 to bring together military, public security, government, and civil society representatives from across the hemisphere with the aim of developing comprehensive and effective human rights programs for defense and security forces that focused on four crucial areas: doctrine, education and training, internal control systems, and cooperation with civilian authorities. I commend your commitment, to human rights, and I hope signing on to the Human Rights Initiative will continue to promote security cooperation in this very important area.
As Guyana continues to undergo an amazing economic transformation, Tradewinds 2023 highlights yet again the importance of security and stability in long-term development.
General Richardson and Brigadier Khan: I thank you and your troops on this year’s phenomenal Tradewinds exercise, which benefits both Guyana and the entire Caribbean region. Thank you to the security force personnel from the participating nations for your commitment to improving coordination, strengthen partnerships, and increasing the overall readiness to address regional security challenges.
Congratulations on a job well done. Thank you.