Regiment helps with Irma relief effort

  • Hurricane hero: A Regiment soldier in action after last year's Hurricane Nicole.  (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Hurricane hero: A Regiment soldier in action after last year's Hurricane Nicole. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

National Security Minister Wayne Caines told MPs that a Royal Bermuda Regiment contingent had lifted off from Bermuda to help in relief efforts in hurricane-hammered Turks & Caicos.

Mr Caines, a former officer in the RBR, said: “This call for aid could not go unheard.

“Bermudians of every walk of life can trace a common West Indian heritage.

“These are our brothers and sisters in need and it is right that we heed their call for assistance and send them the very best we have to offer.”

He added: “This Bermuda contingent goes with our prayers for their safety and for the speedy recovery of the islands so tragically impacted by this hurricane.”

A platoon-strength detachment of 30 soldiers, as well as six police officers, left on Friday on an RAF Hercules transport for Providenciales in Turks & Caicos.

The RBR contingent includes soldiers with specialist skills in chainsaw use and construction, as well as medics.

They will join more than 750 UK Royal Marines, British Army soldiers and police officers sent to the Caribbean island chain to help with disaster recovery. The Royal Navy has already sent RFA Mounts Bay, which was on station in the Caribbean and equipped and trained for disaster relief.

The RN flagship HMS Ocean, diverted from deployment in the Mediterranean, loaded up with stores in Gibraltar and is steaming towards the region.

Mr Caines said: “These teams from our security services have mobilised quickly and have answered a call to serve beyond these shores in what will be trying circumstances.

“Bermuda has a history of helping our regional partners and the Government is extremely proud to support this effort.

“The training and time invested in these men and women will be proven worthwhile.

“I have every confidence they will represent the best of Bermuda and will significantly contribute to the humanitarian effort required to support those impacted by the recent storm.”

The police team is expected to move on from Turks & Caicos to the British Virgin Islands, where they will work with UK and Cayman Islands officers sent to help BVI police with internal security.

Mr Caines added that the deployment would not affect the ability of the RBR or police to respond to a hurricane crisis at home.

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Published Sep 18, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 18, 2017 at 9:49 am)

Regiment helps with Irma relief effort

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