Basseterre, St. Kitts, 11th August, 2023 (SKNIS) — The Florida National Guard, as part of its US Partnership Programme, has partnered with the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) in conducting a three (3) day Non-commissioned Officers Development Workshop at Camp Springfield, the headquarters of the SKNDF from Wednesday, 9th August to Friday, 11th August, 2023.
The purpose of the workshop was to help build the capacity of the soldiers with skills and knowledge.
Rose Mica Georges, State Partnership Programme Analyst, of the Florida National Guard stated that the exchange programme is a mutually beneficial one.
“The State of Florida, partners with the RSS (Regional Security System) countries, and St. Kitts and Nevis falls under one of the RSS countries so our purpose here is to hope that they can learn from us and we can also learn from them. We do this exchange quite often with all our partners because we want them to know that they can rely on us as much as we can rely on them,” Ms. Georges said.
Captain Jervin Lapsey, Staff Officer for Operations and Training at the SKNDF said that the workshop covered areas such as leadership skills, decision-making and mentorship.
“The partnership has been in existence for some time…it is a reciprocal arrangement. The Florida National Guard sends across officers and we also send officers to them,” Captain Lapsey said. “We have learned a lot and we have shared a lot with the Florida National Guard.”
He also said that the programme covers areas as wide as humanitarian efforts, disasters, search and rescue operations, explosives, weapon handling, and health and wellness issues, equipping officers with the soft and hard skills of soldiering.
“This programme has brought some sort of fruit to us here within the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force…the programme has been fruitful and we wish that it continues…we are looking forward to a long and continuous exchange as this will develop our men and women of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force as to how to function with partners such as the United States while we are deployed here and overseas,” Mr. Lapsey said.
Lance Corporal Raheme Williams of the SKNDF assigned to the Coast Guard said that he benefited from the workshop.
“It was an exchange of information between us and the three (Officers of the Florida National Guard). It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot about how to be a good leader…I would recommend them to come here again and even stay a bit longer so that we can really go in-depth,” he said.
Other officers from the Florida National Guard who facilitated the workshop were Senior Master Sergeant at the Florida Air National Guard, Amy Wilson, and Sergeant Angelo Canevari of the Florida Army National Guard.
According to the website of the National Guard “The State Partnership Programme has been successfully building relations for 30 years and now includes 88 partnerships with 100 nations around the globe.
“This cost-effective programme is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the state adjutants general in support of combatant commander and U.S. Chief of Mission security cooperation objectives and Department of Defense policy goals.
Through SPP, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.”