Each year, the Brazilian Navy conducts Operation CARIBEX, sending a task force to navigate Caribbean waters and visit ports of friendly nations in the region. The objective of the mission is carrying out military drills at sea, in order to increase training and operational readiness among the ships involved, as well as to contribute to closer ties of friendship with the countries visited.
This year the CARIBEX Task Force ships will visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the first time, docking at the port of Kingstown on Saturday, 5th May, and remaining until the morning of the 9th. The Task Force is composed of the Patrol Ships Macau (Flagship), Bocaina and Grauna, from the Northeast Patrol Flotilla; with a total of 110 officers and sailors. These vessels are intended for the patrolling of Brazilian jurisdictional waters. They must carry out various tasks, such as surveillance and defense of the coastline, coastal sea areas and areas of exploration/exploitation of oil at sea, help in the defense of port installations, the repression of illegal activities (illegal fishing, smuggling, drug trafficking and pollution of the environment). In periods of peace, the Ocean Patrol Ships contribute to the safety of coastal facilities and maritime platforms against acts of sabotage, and carry out operations of search and rescue in Brazil's area of responsibility. They also “show the flag”, in the friendly nations of the Caribbean, to reaffirm that they can count on the help of the Brazilian Navy in the case of natural disasters.
The presence of these vessels in Kingstown is linked to the growing rapprochement between Brazil and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, with the entry into force of the bilateral agreements on educational and cultural co-operation between the two countries, and the signing of the agreement on technical co-operation. In this last area, the Brazilian Navy offered the coast guard of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, two vacancies for a course of Hydrography and Navigation for officers, to begin, what is expected to be, a fruitful collaboration between the two naval entities.
The ships will be open to public visits on the 6th and 7th of May, from 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. During the stay in Kingstown, social activities are envisaged, including a soccer match between the Task Force team and a team from the SVG Coast Guard, on Sunday the 6th May, at 3:00 p.m., at the Richmond Hill Playing Field. All are invited and welcomed to visit the ships and watch the game.