Members of the ABDF and Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force joined over 30 police, military and civil service personnel from the Eastern Caribbean this week in a virtual strategic leadership course funded by the UK Ministry of Defence.
The two-day multi-agency programme, which spanned 10-11 March was in partnership with the Regional Security System (RSS) Headquarters in Barbados.
It provided an opportunity for participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, CDEMA and the RSS HQ itself, to enhance their strategic leadership performance and understand the challenges of leadership at the strategic level.
Leadership models and ethics; the strategic context; critical decision making; strategy development and the challenge of change and communication and influence within Defence and the wider Security Sector were among the topics examined throughout the course.
Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Ms Lindsy Thompson, opened the course. In her remarks she impressed how the training was designed to stimulate debate on the variety of issues linked to the management of security and defence.
UK Defence Attaché to the Caribbean Lt. Col. Simon Westlake said: “In delivering this virtual programme, the UK continues to work with our Caribbean partners to collectively share experiences, to develop ways of thinking and of working together to better tackle contemporary security challenges that threaten lives and livelihoods.”
Captain (N) Errington Shurland, Executive Director of the RSS, said: “In the RSS sub-region, we are working to enhance the leadership capabilities of senior personnel in our security Forces and related partner organisations. Given the challenging COVID-19 environment, the RSS is very appreciative to the UK government and by extension the UK Defence Academy for offering this very important and timely training opportunity.”
Westlake further noted that the programme was also successfully delivered last month across the six UK Overseas Territories in the region. Next week, over 16-17 March the same Eastern Caribbean partner countries will participate in a Building Integrity in Senior Leaders programme, again delivered by the UK’s Defence Academy, which is also focused on sharing experiences and lessons in managing complex situations in the modern environment.
The virtual programmes reflect the UK’s continuing desire to collaborate with Caribbean partners, despite the challenges presented by COVID, and are being delivered just ahead of the UK-Caribbean Forum, which will convene virtually at Ministerial level on 18 March.
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