In late April, representatives from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) met with officials from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) at Coral Harbour Naval Base in Nassau. The officials participated in an executive session as part of the Bilateral Security Cooperation Framework (BSCF) between both nations to enhance security and defense cooperation.
“The goal of the meetings was to examine the Bilateral Security Cooperation Framework, which was recently signed by the United States and The Bahamas,” the RBDF said in a statement. “The framework underscores the lines of effort and the agreed upon levels of training development opportunities, equipment donations, military exercises, and security cooperation programs to be delivered in the next five years.” This was the first in-person executive session of the BSCF
The U.S. Embassy in Nassau highlighted the advance of bilateral cooperation. “Earlier this week, [U.S. Navy] Rear Admiral Daniel L. Cheever of NORTHCOM was back in Nassau, accompanied by [U.S. Air Force] Brigadier [General] Parker Wright, to continue strengthening our relationship with The Bahamas, along with the RBDF, the Rhode Island National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard [USCG], among other partners,” the U.S. Embassy said via Twitter.
The USCG also assists Bahamian authorities in coastal defense through various actions, such as Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands that dates back to the 1980s. In addition, the USCG and the RBDF have been combining efforts to intercept the surge of migrants out of concern for safety of life at sea. From October 2021 up to May 5, 2022, the USCG has intercepted nearly 3,900 Haitians, Fox5 news station reported. Many, the USCG said, do not survive the risky voyage.
The Bahamas also participates in various regional exercises to enhance multinational security cooperation, such as U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise Tradewinds, which 37th iteration is scheduled for May 7-21 in Belize and Mexico, with 22 participating nations.
“U.S. security assistance and resources have been essential to the Bahamas’ efforts to mitigate organized crime in the archipelago,” the U.S. Department of State says in its report.