PARAMARIBO, Suriname – In order to expand their capability to face transnational threats such as organized crime and illicit trafficking, Suriname military officials welcomed a group of United States Small Boat Operations Coast Guard instructors for a Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE), 10-21 August 2015.
Operating from Marine Base BOXEL, 14 members of the Surinamese Naval forces honed their skills in basic navigation rules, physiological factors, survival skills, personnel recovery, preventive maintenance, logistics, and applications in ocean and riverine operations in support of border protection, counter-narcotics and counter-migration missions.
Despite limited resources, the instructors were impressed by the level of professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by their Surinamese partners. “Usually it takes two days to teach five modules of academics; the students grasped the material before noon the first day! We were able to focus on other advanced aspects of the exchange, and look forward to future cooperation,” said the U.S. Coast Guard Team leader. In addition, the SMEE allowed U.S. personnel to improve their teaching skills, gain regional knowledge, and served as a great opportunity to learn from their Surinamese counterparts.
The event culminated with a graduation ceremony recognizing the successful participation of the Surinamese personnel, followed by a student-led, light-hearted gift presentation to the instructors, appreciative of their efforts and comradery.