|Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force|
|Founded||1 June 1962|
|Service branches||Ground Forces|
Defence Force Reserves
|Minister of National Security||Fitzgerald Hinds|
|Chief of Defence Staff||Air Vice Marshal Darryl Daniel|
|Military age||18 (17 with parental consent)|
|Percent of GDP||0.3%|
|Ranks||Military ranks of Trinidad and Tobago|
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) is the military organization responsible for the defence of the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard and the Defence Force Reserves.
Established in 1962 after Trinidad and Tobago's independence from Great Britain, the TTDF is one of the largest Military forces in the English-speaking Caribbean. Its mission statement is to "defend the sovereign good of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, contribute to the development of the national community and support the State in the fulfillment of its national and international objectives". The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force is made up of four distinct arms; The Regiment/"Army", the Coast Guard (TTCG), the Air Guard (TTAG) and the Defence Force Reserves (TTDFR), which all fall under the authority of the Ministry of National Security. The TTDF has the world's only Military steelband.
The Commander in Chief of the Defence Force is the country's President, Christine Kangaloo. The current Chief of Defence Staff is Air Vice Marshall Darryl Daniel, who replaced Rear Admiral Hayden Pritchard upon his retirement on 25 March 2019.
Main article: Trinidad and Tobago Regiment
The Trinidad and Tobago Regiment (TTR) is the main ground force element of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. It has approximately 3000 men and women, organized into four (4) battalions and a Regiment Headquarters. The regiment has two primary roles; Maintaining the internal security of Trinidad and Tobago and support to civil law enforcement. The current Commanding Officer is Colonel Peter Ganesh.
Also, as one of the larger military forces in the region, the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment is also one of the main units used in peacekeeping and humanitarian situations from the Caribbean region.
Although it is called the Trinidad & Tobago Regiment, the TTR is in fact structured more like a light infantry brigade, with a pair of infantry battalions, plus engineering and logistic support units:
1st Battalion (Infantry), Trinidad and Tobago Regiment: This is a light infantry battalion. It is located at Camp Ogden, Long Circular Road, St James.
2nd Battalion (Infantry), Trinidad and Tobago Regiment: This is also a light infantry battalion. Formerly located at Camp Mausica, since then it has been relocated to the Chaguaramas Heliport and La Romain.
3rd Battalion (1st Engineer Battalion): This provides engineering support, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It is located at Camp Cumuto, Wallerfield.
4th Battalion (Support and Service Battalion): This provides logistic and administrative support for the regiment. It is located at the Teteron Barracks, Teteron Bay, Chaguaramas.
The Regiment also maintains a Camp Omega, at Chaguaramas, which is used primarily for infantry training.
Trinidad and Tobago has a unique and highly trained group of special forces that is tasked to fulfill counter narcotics and counter terrorism operations. Soldiers are sent to the United States or the United Kingdom for their training. Their motto is "To Find a Way." There is also a secret elite branch of the TTCG, their name is Special Naval Unit (SNU).
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is the seagoing branch of the TTDF which was established on 1 June 1962 and commissioned into service less than 3 months later on 27 August 1962. The Coast Guard consists of a number of vessels designated CG<number>. The current Commanding Officer is Captain Don Polo.
Its mission statements is "To Defend the Sovereign Good of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and to provide on a continuous basis, quality service for security and safety within the Maritime Boundaries, and in any other area of responsibility agreed to by the State to fulfill its International Obligations".
Its motto is "Service Before Self".
The Coast Guard is primarily involved with Drug Trade interdiction as well as Search and Rescue within the waters of Trinidad and Tobago and neighbouring Islands. However, the Coast Guard has been involved in major incidents. During the 1970 Army Mutiny in Trinidad and Tobago, the Coast Guard prevented the mutineers from convoying to Port of Spain by firing on an access road from the Regiment base at Teteron Barracks in Chaguaramas. The Coast Guard also played a role during the 1990 Jamaat al Muslimeen coup attempt, providing logistical and naval support to the ground forces of the Regiment, posted outside the besieged city limits.
National Roles of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard include:
Between 2001 and 2016 the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard fleet included TTS Nelson, an Island-class patrol vessel purchased from the Royal Navy.
In April 2007, the Coast Guard contracted for three offshore patrol vessels from VT Shipbuilding (later BAE Systems Surface Ships) in Portsmouth, England. Construction of the Port of Spain-class corvettes Port of Spain, Scarborough and San Fernando suffered significant delays and, in September 2010, though substantially complete, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago cancelled the order. The Brazilian Navy acquired all three ships as their Amazonas-class corvettes.
On 29 April 2015 the Ministry of National Security placed orders with the Dutch company Damen Shipbuilders for four 51-metre (167 ft) 28-knot (52 km/h; 32 mph) coastal patrol vessels, two 54-metre (177 ft) fast utility boats and six 11-metre (36 ft) 53-knot (98 km/h; 61 mph) interceptors.
In August 2018, the government contracted with Austal to build two Cape-class patrol boats at Henderson, Western Australia, scheduled for delivery in mid-2020. The two vessels, Port of Spain and Scarborough were delivered to the TTCG in May 2021.
|Vessel||Hull No.||Origin||Shipbuilder||In service||Notes|
|Offshore patrol vessels|
|TTS Nelson||CG 20||United Kingdom||Hall, Russell||2001-2016||former HMS Orkney|
|TTS Nelson II||CG 60||China||2015-||former Chinese surveillance vessel|
|TTS Port of Spain||CG 41||Australia||Austal||2021-||Cape class|
|TTS Scarborough||CG 42||Australia||Austal||2021-||Cape class|
|Coastal patrol vessels|
|TTS Scarlet Ibis||CG 11||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Hibiscus||CG 12||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Humming Bird||CG 13||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Chanonia||CG 14||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Poui||CG 15||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Teak||CG 16||Australia||Austal||Scarlet Ibis class|
|TTS Speyside||CG 25||Netherlands||Damen||Stan Patrol 5009|
|TTS Quinam||CG 26||Netherlands||Damen||Stan Patrol 5009|
|TTS Moruga||CG 27||Netherlands||Damen||Stan Patrol 5009|
|TTS Carli Bay||CG 28||Netherlands||Damen||Stan Patrol 5009|
|TTS Point Lisas||CG 23||Netherlands||Damen||2015-||Stan Patrol 5009|
|TTS Brighton||CG 24||Netherlands||Damen||Stan Patrol 5009; referred to as La Brea during construction|
The Air Wing of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence force was formed on 15 February 1966, and was initially part of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and was called the Air Wing of the Coast Guard or the Air Wing. In 1977, it was separated as its own entity. In 2005 it was renamed the Trinidad & Tobago Air Guard (TTAG). Its bases are at Piarco International Airport, Crown Point International Airport, and the Heliport at Chaguaramas. Its purposes are to protect and patrol Trinidad and Tobago's airspace, and is also used for transport, search and rescue, and liaison. The current commander of the Air Guard is Group Captain Kester Weekes. He has taken command of the unit in 2019, succeeding Air Commodore Daryl Daniel upon his promotion to Chief of Defence Staff in March 2019.
|C-26B Metro||United States||maritime patrol||2|
|AgustaWestland AW139||Italy||utility / SAR||4|
Its former fleet of aircraft included: One Cessna 337 (O-2A) Skymaster (1966–1972), One Cessna 402 Utililiner (1972–1998), four Aérospatiale Gazelle (1973–1995), One Cessna 172 Skyhawk (1991–1998), Two Piper Navajo 2000–2009, One Cessna 310 1985-2011
Four Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters was intended to be used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions related to search and rescue, border patrol and drug interdiction. Due to lack of funding for maintenance, all helicopters was grounded since 2017. In December 2020, The Minister of National Security announced that one AW139 is back up in the air.
The Minister of National Security announced that the establishment of a military airfield, construction of an operations/administrative building at the Piarco Air Station and new helicopters would be purchased to equip the Air Guard. The minister also promised training from various international bodies. Cabinet agreed to the change of rank designations from naval to the corresponding aviation designations and the creation of 66 ranks on the establishment of the Air Guard.
The Defence Force Reserves, previously called the Volunteer Defence Force, is the non-active duty arm of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. Its mission statement is "To be a highly professional, well-trained combat-ready force that will respond effectively in support of our regular forces and the national community". The Defence Force Reserves is capable of providing reinforcement and be a force multiplier in the event that the Defence Force is called upon to carry out its roles of aid to the civil power. Established in September 1963, its primary purpose at that time was to provide essential reinforcements to the regular force. Today, those roles have grown to include assisting in the promotion of hemispheric and international security and development, with a well-equipped force, trained in a broad range of disciplines and actively involved in community development. In recent years, the Reserves have been called out to assist with law enforcement and most recently to assist with the security in Trinidad's hosting the 5th Summit of the Americas in 2009.
Main article: Military ranks of Trinidad and Tobago
THE Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard partnered with the United States Coast Guard and other Caribbean countries in a drug-bust that led to the interception of over $837 million worth of cocaine.
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