REPRESENTATIVES from the Military Liaison Office (MLO) of the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’s Technical Assistance Field Team (CBSI TAFT) conducted a joint maritime assessment and security assistance planning visit with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force’s (RSLPF) Marine Unit. The visit was the first time since 2013 that CBSI TAFT had been to Saint Lucia following the U.S. government decision in June 2021 to resume security assistance to certain units within the RSLPF.
Members of the CBSI TAFT conducted a comprehensive maritime assessment of the Marine Unit’s fleet and assisted with repairs and maintenance of the vessels. The U.S. Embassy MLO team conducted multiple planning sessions with the Marine Unit’s senior leadership, discussing plans for security training in the United States for sailors within the unit. Future training opportunities would include engineering, electronics, and other maritime technical courses as well as professional military education training opportunities.
Commenting on the visit, Officer in Charge of the CBSI TAFT, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Martin McKenna said, “Over time, these efforts will improve the Marine Unit’s ability to conduct search and rescue operations, combat illicit activity, and protect Saint Lucian territorial waters from illegal fishing.” He commended the RSLPF Marine Unit, led by Inspector Kentry Frederick, and noted that the U.S. Southern Command was “very eager to strengthen this bond and assist its partners with achieving mission success.”