By Ashecia Sam. Updated 12:05 a.m., Saturday, July 23, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
The SVG Coast Guard Services hosted the final parade and inspection of the guard for Commander Brenton Cain on Thursday, July 21st, 2022.
The parade was held to recognise the contributions of Commander Cain to the SVG Coast Guard Services as he embarks on pre-retirement leave.
Speaking at the parade, Deputy Commissioner of the Police of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), Frankie Joseph said the parade marks the end of an era in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Services. Joesph said: “today, we bid farewell to the longest serving Coast Guard Commander in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
He said after fifteen years at the helm, Cain is leaving the organisation that he loves. The Deputy Commissioner added that “Commander Cain is not just the longest serving commander but also the longest serving gazetted officer in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.”
He said Commander Cain’s achievements are unparallel and he should be commended highly. Joseph said Commander Cain ensured the good maintenance of the coast guard’s assets. He said Cain has been astute and responsible in taking care of government’s property. “It is not an easy task to manage multi-million-dollar assets like the coast guard vessels without incidents of negligent failure, the deputy commissioner added.
Joseph said St. Vincent and the Grenadines owes a debt of gratitude to Commander Cain noting that he has served this country and the Coast Guard for over thirty-six (36) years with distinction. The deputy commissioner pointed out that having spent thirty-six (36) years at the Coast Guard, Commander Cain is intimately aware and supremely knowledgeable about the workings, operations, and functions of the organisation.
“Under his leadership, Commander Cain has seen many reforms and innovations at the Coast Guard. He has helped tremendously to nurture and develop the coast guard to where it is today,” Joseph said. The deputy commissioner added that Cain ensured that his senior management team and other members of staff received the requisite training to carry out the mission of the coast guard which is fittingly coined as “dedicated to saving lives”. He noted that with over thirty-six (36) years of experience as a navigator on the high seas, Commander Cain has saved many lives.
The Deputy Commissioner described Cain as a “kind-hearted human being who loves people and went above and beyond to help those who were in distress and in need.” Joseph added that Commander Cain is very jovial but is also a very no- nonsense and straightforward person. He said having sat in many meetings with Commander Cain, he has observed that Commander Cain is very calculated and methodical in his deliberations. “When he spoke, the whole meeting listened”, Joseph said. He said, “that is the level of respect he commanded among the rank and filed members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.”
Joseph said the SVG Coast Guard, and the entire region would lose a very efficient and good leader as Commander Cain has also served the region in different capacities at the Regional Security System in Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.
The Deputy Commissioner said one of the things that impresses him most about Commander Cain was how he mentored and tutored his senior management team and prepare them for this moment of transition at the coast guard. “It is without any degree of uncertainty that he is leaving the coast guard in capable hands. That to me is one of the greatest principles of leadership”, he said.
The deputy commissioner wished Commander Cain a happy and healthy retirement.
Lieutenant Commander of the SVG Coast Guard Services Deon Henry also addressed the parade.
Henry said during Cain’s tenure as Commander, the Coast Guard has seen significant growth in its assets, personnel, operations, and development.
He noted that some of Commander Cain’s achievements are:
The procurement of the Flag Ship SVG 01 “Captain Hugh Mulzac”
The procurement and Commission of the first medical evacuation vessel, SVG 05 “Balliceaux”
The addition of eight vessels to the Coast Guard Fleet
The Bequia and West Coast Patrols became operational under his leadership and command of the Mayreau patrol was handed over to the Coast Guard
The Construction, commission, and operations of the coast guard sub-base in Canouan
The construction of the Junior Female Quarters and the Commander David Robin Conference/Training Room
The installation and operations of the Advance Coastal Radar Surveillance System
The increase in personnel from seventy-four (74) in 2007 to one hundred and four (104) in 2022, which marked increases in every rank of the organisation.
The addition of the Coast Guard Auxiliary
The evacuation of over two thousand (2,000) residents from the redzone during the volcanic eruptions due to the existence of a national maritime evacuation plan
Henry noted that “Commander Cain is known for his warmth, welcoming and humourous personality and as he sails into retirement as a coast guard man, we want to say a heartfelt thank you for your contribution to the Coast Guard, the Police Force and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Henry said it has been a pleasure working with Commander Cain and he wished Commander Cain a happy retirement.
Commander Cain joined the SVG Coast Guard Services after a four (4) year stint of teaching on the 2nd of February 1986, six years after the organisation was established. He has served for thirty-six (36) years and four months. He took command of the Coast Guard in 2007 in an acting capacity due to the secondment of Commander Tyrone James at the Regional Security System (RSS). He was confirmed to the rank of Commander in 2014 and has been at the helm at SVG Coast Guard Services for fifteen years. Commander Cain is the third Vincentian to command the Coast Guard since its leadership was handed over by the Royal Navy in 1994 to Commander David Robin.
He has extensive training in navigation and seamanship and other aspects of maritime locally, regionally, and internationally,
His experience includes an instructor of the RSS Training Unit in Barbados, Instructor at Trade Winds, secondment as Chief Instructor to the RSS Training Unit in Antigua for two years, Coordinator of the SVG Coast Guard Summer Programme, Operations Officer of the Coast Guard for three years, Commanding Officer 75-footer coast guard cutter, Commanding Officer of the 120-footer coast guard cutter and second in charge of port security, a designated authority for port security in SVG.
At the parade Commander Cain was presented with a plague by the Deputy Commissioner of Police for his hard work and dedication to the SVG Coast Services, the RSVGPF and by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Commander Cain spent his last day on the job on Friday, July 22, 2022.