Sat | Jul 21, 2018

US military expert shares ‘cycle of success’ strategy

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
On his first day on the job as commissioner of police, Major General Antony Anderson (right) seems to be getting some advice from Brigadier General Aaron Dean II (left), adjutant general of the District of Columbia National Guard, as Mark Siebel, consul general at the US Embassy, Kingston, listens during yesterday’s reception aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, docked at Kingston Wharves.

Any sustained strategy for dismantling transnational criminal activities in the Caribbean must have strong, effective follow-up sanctions that extend well beyond the seizure of illicit drugs and the arrest of small-time criminals, a senior United States military officer emphasised yesterday.

"It's not just catching the bad guys but also ensuring that the prosecution occurs. It's ensuring that whatever other information we glean from those individuals feeds back into the system, which would help us to target the right aircraft or vessels," explained Captain Dante Vinciguerra, chief of response with the United States Coast Guard District Seven.

"So this information sharing between country partners leads to more interdictions and continues to inform our system towards combating transnational criminal organisations. We call it the cycle of success," Vinciguerra told The Gleaner aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, which was docked at Kingston Wharves.

Vinciguerra and the crew of the Resolute were guests at the reception hosted by the United States Embassy, Kingston, ahead of a series of regional patrols involving the US Coast Guard, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard and the Dutch, in what he described as an effort to "reignite and reinvigorate" the 20-year State Partnership Programme between Jamaica and America.

Chief of defence staff of the JDF, Major General Rocky Meade, pointed out that the transnational criminal activities being targeted are equally detrimental to all countries irrespective of size, and Jamaica, which has been doing its part, is ramping up its response and other capabilities,

Meanwhile, Eric Khant, US chargÈ d'affaires, used the opportunity to announce that collaboration with the JDF would extend from disaster preparedness and humanitarian responses to natural disasters in the region.

"We must never lose sight of the fact that this region is prone to disasters that can undo the progress of decades. We hope to accomplish this sharing of expertise, knowledge and information," he said.

Members of the US military interacted with their Jamaican counterparts as well as policymakers, top-level security personnel, including Minister of National Security Robert Montague, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson, as well as staff of the foreign affairs ministry, other dignitaries and US Embassy, Kingston, staff.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com