~ Work together to improve Coast Guards in Caribbean region~
CURAÇAO – On November 17 and 18, 2015, an international patrol vessel user conference was held at the Marriott Beach Resort in Curaçao. The conference – the first so-called Stan Patrol User Group (SPUG) – was initiated by the Coast Guard for the Kingdom in the Caribbean (KWCARIB).
In the Caribbean region many countries use a patrol boat based on the Damen Stan Patrol boat, to fight illegal activities at sea.
Nine countries – Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, the Bahamas, Barbados, Honduras, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago the USA and the KWCARIB – exchanged experiences on the use of their larger patrol vessels. The purpose was to further enhance the reliability of such ships; introduce users of the Stan Patrol Boat from the region and the industry, to collectively discuss how their individual use of the patrol boats have helped curb criminal activities.
In addition, the KWCARIB could draw on years of experience of operating the patrol boats, and maintaining law in the region with cooperation from the different entities.
This successful first conference has resulted in the Chief of the Bahamian Defense Forces to commit to organizing the second SPUG in the Bahamas in November of this year. The KWCARIB, as the initiator of the first SPUG, and Damen will support this meeting.
The SPUG is a good example of how Defense, KWCARIB and the Dutch industry can help units in the region to deploy more efficiently in the joint fight against illicit trafficking at sea.
These vessels, or cutters, are of the type “Damen Stan Patrol” and are all designed by Damen Shipyards Group. Initiator KWCARIB is one of the oldest users of this type.
Damen (design, build), Pon Power Caterpillar (engines) and Alphatron (bridge parts) supported the discussions. The intention is to hold this conference every year, alternating between the National Coastguards and Navies.