Captain Peter W. A White of the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) recently completed the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Protection Course held in the Cayman Islands from 7 –11 October 2019. He was specifically chosen due to his substantive post as the Director General of Montserrat Customs and Revenue Service (MCRS) which has responsibility for border control.
The course was run by the UK Ministry of Defence through the Royal Navy with support from the Cayman Islands. The course was set at a level of Sub Lieutenant/Lieutenant through to Captain/Colonel rank, or civilian equivalent, and would be run on a cross-Government basis. The Course was geared towards providing participants with a better understanding of the issues involved with EEZ management, based on the following objectives:
a. Awareness among stakeholders about the enormity of the resource potential and the requirements for monitoring, control and surveillance of the EEZ.
b. Identify the capabilities required to manage the EEZ (including surveillance, response and regulation of activities within the EEZ).
c. Identify and define the roles and capabilities of the various stakeholders in the effective and efficient management of the EEZ.
d. Enable all stakeholders to appreciate the magnitude of each other’s contributions towards the management of resources within the EEZ.
e. Develop mechanisms to harness collaborative efforts to support the training and financing of the operations involved in the management of the EEZ.
f. Develop a comprehensive EEZ management organisation for a more constructive management regime.
The course used a blended approach of lectures, discussions, case-studies, film-studies and exercises. Participants were encouraged to exchange ideas and views, share their leadership journeys, and draw on personal insights, challenges and solutions. One of the intention of the training was to assemble a group of operators and decision-makers in order to share best practice and promote regional interoperability and cooperation. It is hoped that this will be a unique opportunity for professionals to engage over EEZ issues, build a practical network and establish connections that will generate operational benefits.
Captain Whites’ participation was made possible through assistance from the Office of the UK Defence Attaché for the Caribbean based in Jamaica. The training course had Twenty-Three (23) participants which included senior officers from other regional defence forces, various law enforcement agencies and the civil service of several Caribbean countries.
Captain White found the training to be extremely beneficial and timely and was grateful for the opportunity to reinforce the principles and increase knowledge of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the region. This as well provided a great networking opportunity for the various participants and countries represented.
Commanding Officer Major Alvin Ryan is very happy at the training opportunity that has been afforded to the Force and the chance to work alongside other security forces within the region. He is pleased at Captain Whites’ representation of the RMDF on this course and is confident that the recently completed training course would be highly beneficial to the Force and the country of Montserrat on a whole. In addition, Major Ryan is extremely grateful to the British Defence Attaché Lt. Col. Anton Gash for the work he and his office has done in the training opportunity that has been afforded to the RMDF.