(Governor’s Office) – RFA Mounts Bay will test its disaster recovery response during a planned landing of equipment on Governor’s Beach on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 July 2017.
Mounts Bay starts her deployment to the Caribbean with a packed agenda in the Cayman Islands, the first of the Overseas Territories to be visited. The UK maintains a year round naval presence in the Caribbean to provide a rapid response to any emergency in the Overseas Territories. The vessel is also used in anti-narcotics work in the region.
Over the 5 day visit UK military personnel will join forces with Hazard Management, the Fire Service, RCIPS and Northward Prison to deliver training, technical support, a ground clearance project and the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise. A portion of Governor’s Beach will have restricted access to the public during the exercise to allow the Royal Navy to replicate the landing of heavy duty equipment and supplies in the aftermath of a disaster, for example a major hurricane.
The HADR operation will begin on Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday. Representatives from other Overseas Territories Disaster Management teams will also be on the island to observe and learn from this exciting and significant operation.
Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick stressed that ‘when disaster strikes, the response must be rapid, coordinated and appropriate to ensure effective delivery of relief and aid. An operation of this kind allows us to test our ability to deploy immediate help at short notice and be prepared well in advance of any major disaster. We apologise for any disruption to the public on Governor’s Beach during these dates and ask for your understanding, given the importance of this exercise.’
McCleary Frederick, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, added that ‘Primary responsibility for dealing with the aftermath of a major incident lies with the Cayman Islands Government but the ability of the UK military to deliver equipment and manpower to assist in the response is essential. We welcome the chance to test a coordinated response, which is essential during any emergency’. Members of the public are also reminded to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season and any other hazard. For tips on preparing yourself and your home, visit the HMCI web site at www.CaymanPrepared.ky