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Caribbean visitors tour Florida National Guard

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Caribbean visitors tour Florida National Guard

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Jacksonville, Florida  – The spirit of cooperation between the United States and Caribbean nations was strengthened recently as the Florida National Guard hosted representatives from seven Caribbean countries for a week-long visit.
Representatives from nations belonging to the Regional Security System (RSS) – an international agreement for the defense and security of the eastern Caribbean region – visited Florida from August 9 to 13.
Representatives toured Florida National Guard facilities, met with senior leaders and learned about the capabilities and missions of the Florida National Guard and the Florida Department of Military Affairs.
RSS nations represented during the visit included: Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Dominica; Grenada; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This is important for Florida that we have relationships with these Caribbean nations as we face similar threats of natural disasters and the flow of illegal narcotics into our states” said Florida National Guard State Partnership Coordinator Lt. Col. Stephen Dowdie, who conducted the tours and briefings for the RSS representatives.
Dowdie explained that the visit was not just about enhancing relations between the Florida National Guard and the nations, but was constructed to really introduce the Caribbean visitors to Florida programs that could be modeled and add value to the security and self-sufficiency of those nations.
The visit included stops at the Florida National Guard headquarters and Emergency Operations Center in St. Augustine, the Youth Challenge Academy and Regional Training Institute at Camp Blanding, the Guard’s Counterdrug mission-sites in Jacksonville, and Putnam County Emergency Operations Center. (PR)

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