JAMAICA – More than 1,000 military personnel from 18 countries, including Jamaica, will be undertaking a massive coastal clean-up exercise throughout sections of the island on Sunday.

The event, with activities starting at 12:30 p.m., forms part of phase two of the Exercise Tradewinds which began in Jamaica on Monday and will run until next Tuesday.

“This is our big signature community outreach event,” Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Lt Col Mahatma Williams told journalists on Wednesday during a briefing session on Media Day at Up Park Camp in St Andrew.

The clean-up is being held under the theme, ‘Environment Protection’, and will take place at six sites.

They are the Sirgany Beach in Kingston; Half Moon Beach and Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine; Old Jane Lane Beach and Roxborough Beach in St Ann.

The multinational military teams will also be at the Gunboat Beach off the Palisadoes in Port Royal.

“It (theme) was based on the national effort. Last year when we started the planning, our Labour Day projects, all of the Ministry of Health’s efforts were going towards environmental protection, and this has been the theme nationally. We didn’t want to have a different theme,” Williams explained.

Meant To Impact Lives

He said coastal areas were selected out of discussions with the National Environment and Planning Agency

and aims at enhancing wetland regeneration, beautification and clean-up of beaches and reducing mosquito breeding sites.

“Our community outreach is meant to materially impact the lives of Jamaicans,” the senior army official said.

Through a Media Day coordinated by JDF civil military and cooperation officer, Major Basil Jarrett, members of the media on Wednesday got a chance to see demonstrations and even participate in some of the training routines under Exercise Tradewinds 2016.

Media houses were also given tours of the Jamaica Military Museum and Library and the Exercise Command Post.

The Jamaican leg of the military event being sponsored by the United States Southern Command military post is focusing on focus on transnational organised crime.