On Friday, July 28, the Perry Center celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the Caribbean Security and Defense (CDSC) course. Comprised of 48 students from 14 Caribbean nations, and led by Dr. William Godnick, and assisted by Assistant Professors Dianne Williams, George Benson and Walter Earle, CDSC is a fundamental course in which Caribbean security and defense officials analyze English-speaking issues such as public safety, responses to natural disasters and cyber defense.
His Excellency Brigadier General (ret.) Anthony W. J. Phillips-Spencer, the Ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, acted as keynote speaker at the ceremony. During his time in the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF), AMB Phillips-Spencer’s assignments included Military Attaché – Washington, DC, Head of Delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB), Commander of the Trinidad Regiment and Tobago, and Deputy Chief of Defense. Now serving as Trinidad’s representative to the White House and the Organization of American States (OAS), AMB Phillips-Spencer was introduced by Interim Director of the Perry Center Jeffrey Murphy as “a leader with almost legendary criteria, experience and work ethic, just like to the most complicated national and regional security challenges.”
In his words, the Ambassador congratulated the Perry Center for its twentieth anniversary and praised the Center’s “indispensable role” in increasing the number of qualified civilian defense officials in the Americas and strengthening ties between officials of the ministries and the armed forces. of the entire hemisphere. Turning his attention to current challenges, Phillips-Spencer spoke of how “the triadic patterns of mutually reinforcing challenges such as: trafficking, terrorism and technology, corruption, violent crime and cybercrime, and the dangers, health and human development persist in the Caribbean.” He asked the graduates of the CDSC to respond to the current challenges and concerns of the Caribbean as a means to strengthen defense and security cooperation throughout the hemisphere.
During their stay in the capital of the country, students participated in exercises that simulated threats and challenges shared by Caribbean nations. The course also featured academic conferences, commitments to policy officials and educational visits, including a visit to the OAS.