Regiment in counter-terrorism exercise
Bermudian soldiers mounted an assault on a terrorist stronghold as part of a training exercise in the Caribbean Thursday.
Royal Bermuda Regiment troops stormed a building occupied by terrorists and bomb-makers alongside soldiers and police from other countries as part of their Tradewinds training in St Vincent.
Tradewinds, run by the US military's Southern Command, was designed to increase regional co-operation in complex multinational security operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response work.
Countries taking part include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, France, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
Captain Kenji Bean, the second-in-command of the land force component of the exercise, said: “I've spoken to a lot of the soldiers and they have really enjoyed working alongside the military and police from different countries.
“They have experienced a different part of the world, different cultures and different levels of training. It also gave them experience of the level of endurance that is needed to sustain a major operation.
“They are now better prepared and more robust for when they continue their training back in Bermuda.”
Captain Bean added: “Tradewinds has worked well because it's testing our responses to different events, as well as teaching new tactics to sharpen our skills and drills.
“Our communications ability is being tested as is our ability to get things done efficiently.
“It has also forced people to get out of their comfort zone and we have been able to network with other agencies from around the Caribbean and around the world and share our experience with them.”
Captain Bean said: “The RBR as a career is great exposure for anyone looking to expand their skills. It's hard work, but it's rewarding.”
Lance Corporal Kyree Govia said: “I've done this sort of thing before. It's not brand new and I think we did well. We were told it was a gang that had taken over the compound. Our job was to retake it. It was a snatch and grab operation.”
The 24-year-old Masters employee, from Pembroke, was speaking after a platoon of RBR soldiers struck at the Old Melrose police station near the capital Kingstown. They were told that the leaders of terrorist and crime group the Brigade of Martyrs Liberation had taken over in the building and also had a bomb factory there.
Two improvised explosive devices were found during a sweep of the compound after a short firefight and were disabled by soldiers from other countries taking part while the RBR surrounded the building.