US Conducts Military Exercises in Guyana Airspace

Spread the love

By Prior Beharry

THE United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is conducting flight operations within Guyana, in collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the American Embassy in Guyana has announced.

“This exercise builds upon routine engagement and operations to enhance security partnership between the United States and Guyana, and to strengthen regional cooperation,” the US embassy stated.

This exercise comes less than a week after President Irfaan Ali announced that the GDF has contacted SOUTHCOM in response to several steps by Venezuela, including the declaration of Guyana’s Essequibo county, as one of its defence zones and that foreign companies have been given a three-month ultimatum to leave concessions that had been awarded by Guyana.

The Embassy stated that USSOUTHCOM would continue its collaboration with the GDF in the areas of “disaster preparedness, aerial and maritime security, and countering transnational criminal organisations.”

It stated, “The U.S. will continue its commitment as Guyana’s trusted security partner and promoting regional cooperation and interoperability.”

GDF Chief-of-Staff Brigadier Omar Khan said that Guyana would receive foreign aerial support on Thursday to assist with a search and rescue operation for a GDF helicopter that disappeared over a thickly forested and mountainous area in Essequibo about 30 miles east of the border with Venezuela. “We’ll see additional assets being deployed as is necessary….We’ll have it from our partners,” he said.

Guyana, as part of the Caribbean’s Regional Security System, participates in and has hosted annual Exercise Tradewinds.

And the GDF stated that the crash site of the ell 412 helicopter that went down on Wednesday has been spotted and there were signs of live.

In a release it stated,“The crash site where a Guyana Defence Force Bell 412 helicopter went down yesterday, has been positively identified and the aircraft spotted.

“Search and rescue teams have also reported positive signs of life on the scene. Troops are being rappelled to the exact site location,”

Meanwhile, CARICOM plans and emergency Head of Government Meeting on Friday to deal with the issue.

Asked for a comment on the situation on Thursday, Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs said, “I continue to receive updates and to exchange information with Guyana and with Venezuela in the aftermath of the December 3rd referendum, and remain in constant contact with the Foreign Minister of Guyana, with our team in Caracas, with Venezuela’s Ambassador to Port of Spain, with all CARICOM counterparts, and with key external partners.

Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Dr Amery Browne

“CARICOM speaks with one voice on this border issue – that voice as always fully includes Trinidad and Tobago – and we continue to clearly call for respect for international law and the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, for peace to be maintained and preserved, and for full respect for the territorial integrity of Guyana and all Member States.

“CARICOM is currently in the process of convening an emergency session of Heads of Government via videoconference which will take place tomorrow, and will make additional pronouncements at such time.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *