MOU allows US to quickly help Bermuda in event of crisis
The US will be able to come to Bermuda’s aid if the island comes under a security threat, thanks to a new agreement.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by officials on Thursday, provides a framework for co-operation in the event of a security threat or serious risk to public health or safety in Bermuda.
Under the terms of the contract, the UK, in consultation with Bermuda, will be able to request “immediate assistance” from the United States to help the island in responding to a security threat or incident.
A spokeswoman for the US Consulate said that, because of Bermuda’s close proximity to the US, the island’s neighbour and ally would be able to “quickly respond to a crisis”, bringing in back-up in the form of military deployments, law enforcement support, intelligence, communication and technical capabilities.
The spokeswoman added: “In the initial hours of a crisis, US and Bermuda leaders will be able to draw from agreed-upon protocols and options outlined in the memorandum, which will be regularly reviewed and revised as needed.
“Building on strong, longstanding relationships, the memorandum enables all parties to rapidly respond to a threat or crisis.”
Karen Grissette, the US Consul General, said the agreement cemented ties with Downing Street – with Bermuda playing a key role.
She said: “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to working collaboratively with the UK and Bermuda.
“The United States has no stronger partnership than that with the United Kingdom.
“Co-operation and integration among partner nations is critical to confronting transnational challenges, and the United States continues to value its longstanding relationship with Bermuda.“
Alison Crockett, the deputy governor, said the agreement would benefit the island.
Ms Crockett said: “This has been an excellent opportunity for Bermuda, the US, and the UK to work together, learn from each other and co-operate to ensure that Bermuda has the best possible response to any external risks that may come its way” said.
Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security and another signatory to the memorandum, described the contract as “comforting”.
She said: “Whilst we hope that an incident will not affect Bermuda, it is essential that we remain prepared and have plans in place to respond to any adverse incidents that may occur.
“It is comforting to know that if needed we can seek assistance from the United States and I look forward to the continued co-operation between our respective agencies.”