PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad —
With an abundance of sunshine, wind and rain, the Trinidad and Tobago, or TTO, Defense Force is taking a pro-active approach in this southern Caribbean region when it comes to renewable energy strategy.
Port of Spain in Trinidad was the sight of a recent bi-lateral subject matter expert exchange conference hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force. This fourth annual military-to-military engagement focused on water and energy conservation policy development.
“This conference is a chance for me to widen my breadth of knowledge,” said 2nd Lt. Shejon Ali, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard. “This is important for the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force because we are a first responder for Trinidad and surrounding islands, so we need to be prepared to respond at any given moment. We need to have a consistent supply of energy and be able to generate our own power and water.”
This weeklong conference – sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and facilitated by U.S. Army South at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston – brought together 20 military personnel from the TTO Defense Force, comprised of the Regiment, Coast Guard, Air Defense, engineers from the U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve and civilians from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
By collaborating together and sharing knowledge, lessons learned and best practices participants were able to contribute to help shape an effective energy and water conservation plan.
Topics discussed throughout the week included storm water management, solar and photovoltaic technologies and facility management. The group also visited various military facilities to conduct energy efficiency assessments and determine strategies to help save energy.
“This event brings us together to share best practices and compare what works and what doesn’t,” said Rosa Santoni, U.S. Army South facility and construction chief. “We can learn a lot from the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force because the Caribbean region is a special region that has unique issues that they can best speak of.”
Planning is currently underway way for next years bi-lateral exchange and should give participants an opportunity to measure the success of this year’s initiatives. As the Army Service Component Command to U.S. Southern Command, Army South works closely with partner nations to strengthen security cooperation across the western hemisphere.