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Tradewinds 2004

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 4/8/2004

Story by Cpl. Sharon E. Fox

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.(April 8, 2004) -- Selected 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) Marines will conduct training April 10-27 in the Dominican Republic with other military and civilian forces from the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

The training, known as Tradewinds 2004, is a Combined Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command with U.S. Army South as the executive planning agent.

An estimated 50 Marines from the Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Bn., 2d Marine Regiment (AT Bn.), and Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, headquartered in Norfolk, Va. will participate.

Tradewinds is designed to conduct a multi-staged combined/joint ground-maritime disaster response exercise to familiarize and exercise consequence management, disaster response and security operations.

Consequence management, a main focus of the exercise, describes ways and means to alleviate the physical, economic and psychological effects of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. It requires coordination of local, regional, national and international assets to deal with the effects of the attack.

In this training, both civilian and military forces will prepare for chemical disasters, gas contamination, bombs and other terrorist attacks, said Capt. Charles Suilen, Royal Netherlands Marine Corps exchange officer and assistant operations officer, 4th MEB (AT).

The Marine Corps Security Forces' mobile training team will conduct a 3-day basic security guard course for each company of the Caribbean Bn., which consists of 14 Caribbean countries including the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica and others.

"It is important for us to not only train the Caribbean forces, but also to work with the civilian organizations to operate during a large-scale disaster," said Suilen.

The Marines will set up the organization of emergency and operation centers, and provide evaluators for the exercise. There will also be military support to manage the aftermath of disaster simulations.

The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, United Kingdom Royal Marines and U.S. Marine ground forces will provide security for the disaster area as part of the 1st Caribbean Bn.

Fire brigades and first aid will be provided by civilian Dominican organizations. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency will manage and oversee the various civilian organizations participating in Tradewinds.

Evaluators will not only be overseeing the Caribbean Bn. and their civilian counterparts, but will be making sure the Marines have given proper instruction on all aspects of terrorism and riot control.

The MEB training center will conduct non-lethal weapons and crowd riot control training for the Caribbean Bn.

Non-lethal weapons' training educates on how and when to use shotguns with beanbags, and other non-lethal weapons to keep crowds under control. Riot control training shows the battalion how to keep hostile protestors at bay and terrorist threats from escalating. The instruction also teaches them how to use batons, full-body shields and other riot gear to maneuver through or keep out protesters.

The 4th MEB anti-terrorism battalion will conduct trilateral training with the British and Dutch Marines in small craft amphibious operations, close-range shooting, enhanced marksmanship, pistol skills, and military operations on urban terrain.

Training areas will include Sierra Prieta, Las Calderas, Barahona and other areas in Dominican Republic.

Training scenarios will include terrorist threat assessment, port and airfield attacks, security operations, infrastructure protection, consequence management/disaster response, medical evacuation, and limited offensive operations.

This is a large-scale disaster simulation that will hopefully prepare the Caribbean Battalion and joint civilian forces for any type of disaster that may occur.

"We are eager and confident for a successful mission, and are looking forward to working with the Caribbean Battalion," said Suilen. "We are fortunate to have the special training teams from the British, Dutch and U.S. Marines and will be putting in 100 percent effort to make this an efficient and educational training exercise."

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