Two Barbadians Attend U.S. Government-sponsored Fuerzas Commando Distinguished Visitors Program

Sub-Lieutenant Elvis King (left), and Commander Aquinas Clarke (right), of the Barbados Defense Force pose with Admiral Kurt Tidd, (center) USN, Commander, United States Southern Command.

The U.S. Embassy, through its Military Liaison Office, recently sent Commander Aquinas Clarke, and Sub-Lieutenant Elvis King, both of the Barbados Defense Force, on the Fuerzas Commando Distinguished Visitor Program, in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Fuerzas Comando 2017, which began on July 23, 2017, is a multinational special operations skills competition and combating terrorism fellowship program sponsored by the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and facilitated by the United States Special Operations Command South. The exercise promotes partner nation military-to-military relationships, increases training knowledge and improves regional security. Twenty countries comprised of security forces from the Caribbean, Central America, South America and the United States participated this year.

U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS, Linda Taglialatela commented, “In the current threat environment, it has never been more important to join forces to enhance multinational and regional cooperation, boost mutual trust and confidence, ensure readiness, and strengthen regional interoperability for success in combating our common threats. To this end, we are happy to have sponsored Commander Clarke, and Sub-Lieutenant King for this program, and we remain committed to strengthening security capabilities in the region.”

Ten countries have shared the responsibility of hosting the event. The first year the competition was held in El Salvador, and 13 countries participated. Since then the involvement in the competition has expanded and Paraguay was this year’s host country.