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Improving security in the region

Synchronisation by the United States Embassy in Barbados and the Regional Security System would allow for effective short- and long-term planning for security assistance and cooperation within the Eastern Caribbean.

US Ambassador to Barbados, Dr. Larry Palmer, gave this assurance earlier today while delivering the closing remarks at the Eastern Caribbean Security Seminar at the Crane Hotel, St. Philip.

“This security conference has allowed us to come together to plan our work for the coming months and years. We have synchronised our foreign military finance efforts to make sure the right equipment is acquired to help support and execute your missions,” Palmer said.

“We have coordinated our training schedules to ensure the region’s service men and women receive the best possible training through our international military education programme, which in recent years has trained hundreds of members of Caribbean security forces.”

The diplomat added that through its expanding relationship via the State Partnership Programme, the US had also been able to increase the number of exchange events with the region’s defence forces, police special service units, and the coast guard/maritime police agencies.

He noted that the state of Florida and the United States Virgin Islands were the state partners for the Eastern Caribbean. Palmer added that one highlight from this year was the enhancement of maritime security within the RSS through the Secure Seas Programme, a part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

The ambassador recalled that the partnership was launched by President Obama and Caribbean leaders in 2009, pointing out that interceptor boats and the installed communications systems provided the RSS with an improved capacity to interdict suspected illicit traffickers.

“Not only are these high-tech vessels useful for their ability to interdict illicit traffickers, they are also ideal platforms to engage in other traditional public safety maritime operations such as search and rescue. This was highlighted just recently in Antigua, as their coast guard’s new interceptor vessels were called into action to help lead an intensive 19 hour search for four people, including two boys aged four and seven,” Palmer said.

He stressed that it was of vital importance that the maintenance of the equipment be given top priority. (NC)

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