History Exercise TRADEWINDS is an annual multi-agency, multinational Caribbean exercise which is hosted in partnership with the United States of America. Exercise TRADEWINDS began in 1985 after its forerunner Exercise EXOTIC PALM was terminated. The Exercise is now over three decades old. Exercise TRADEWINDS was created out of a need for a collective response to security threats, which were impacting the stability of the region in the early 1970's and 1980's. The leadership of the Regional Security System (RSS), which was formed in October 1982, realized that there was a dire need for RSS and CARICOM security forces to conduct joint training, exercises and evaluations to enhance our interoperability. 

Thus, Exercise TRADEWINDS was conceptualized in the mid-1980s by Caribbean Heads of Government on the advice of their respective National Security Chiefs. Initially, TRADEWINDS was designed to focus mainly on countering internal and external security threats. The exercise focus evolved to encompass improving disaster response and relief efforts should one or more of the Caribbean member states require a regional response. This exercise has been a staple on the regional training calendar and has been extremely successful in improving regional integration.