FBI Provides Weapons Training During Tradewinds 2010
By Dialogo April 23, 2010They are friends on the sidelines, but foes the instant they step directly in front of each other only 10-15 feet apart, staring eye to eye. Under the watchful eyes of an FBI agent instructor and fellow students, they receive the command to draw their weapons and point their muzzles at the person that only a few moments ago was sitting next to them in the classroom. During the multinational exercise Tradewinds 2010 in Belize, the FBI is adding to the 6,000 international law enforcement officers they train annually around the world. Tradewinds is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual exercise conducted in the region designed to improve responses to regional security threats. This year’s joint, combined interagency exercise is being held in Belize and Jamaica April 12 – 26. The exercise includes more than 400 military and security personnel from 15 Caribbean Basin nations, the United Kingdom and the United States. Price Barracks is one of a multitude of training sites the FBI visits across the globe furthering relationships with Caribbean Basin partner nation security forces, explained Michael Parmigiani, a supervisory special agent with the FBI. “We elevate their heart rate and put them under realistic pressure in the simulations so they can take the lessons learned to the street,” said Sam Mullins, a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s international training and assistance unit. With simulation rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber, the students have less than a second to react and shoot the enemy -- or be eliminated themselves. “In my head, over and over, I’m planning what I’m going to do once I draw that weapon,” said Marine Cpl. James Medley, a military policeman, Military Police Company A from Lexington, KY. “It’s mostly instinct once it actually happens, but I’m just hoping I don’t get shot.” Two Marines, alongside soldiers from 15 Caribbean partner nations had the chance to receive training from multiple, experienced FBI agents during Tradewinds. The agents, who specialize in various fields, bring decades of real-life experience to students who are participating in mock-drills using sim rounds.