D.C. National Guard leadership exchanges ideas, expertise with Jamaica Defense Force

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sumeana Leslie
  • 113th Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard traveled to Kingston, Jamaica on a State Partnership Program visit Aug. 20. During the visit, Schwartz reviewed the development of the humanitarian assistance program, the disaster response program developed with the Jamaica Defense Force.

"The DC National Guard had its first international subject matter exchange with Jamaica in February 2004," said Capt. Tamara Tomlinson, D.C. National Guard State Partnership Program coordinator. "

The relationship is beneficial for both counterparts, for soldiers and airmen primarily because they are able to experience real life scenarios that they would not ordinarily experience, helping them advance their development and prepare us all in the event of a mobilization."

The SPP offered training opportunities for servicemembers from both the Jamaican Defense Force and the D.C. National Guard, particularly in the areas of combating drug and arms trafficking, organized crime and gangs, money laundering, criminal justice reform, economic development, financial stability, and medical care.

In his remarks welcoming Schwartz and the SPP teams, U.S. Embassy Kingston Chief of Mission Ambassador (Designate) Luis G. Moreno emphasized DCNG's contributions in helping "advance U.S. policy objectives in the Caribbean," particularly in their joint JDF-DCNG efforts in aircraft maintenance and boat patrol.

"The exchange has been very effective because we have been able to exchange our subject matter expert knowledge and assisted one another in a number of ways that have benefited the Jamaica Defense Force and the DC National Guard," said Jamaica Defense Force Deputy Chief of Defense Staff Brigadier Rocky R. Meade. ". We look forward to the program continuing for a very long time."

"I look forward to this partnership between myself and the leaders of the Jamaica Defense continuing," said Schwartz. "We have different levels of expertise that we are able to offer one another and I also look forward to having more success in the future."