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Regiment cancels overseas training

National security minister Wayne Caines (File photograph)

The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s annual overseas training exercise has been cancelled in a cost-cutting move.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said the money saved would go towards the creation of a full-time coastguard-style service and to boost disaster relief capability.

Mr Caines told the House of Assembly yesterday: “The cancellation of the overseas camp will realise a saving of between $300,000 and $450,000 through the elimination of an aircraft charter and camp operational costs.”

He added: “The decision to cancel the camp has been made as a result of identifying better value for money and the need to invest in activities that are operationally focused — putting the Royal Bermuda Regiment back on the map.”

Mr Caines said the regiment would use the savings to develop a “professional, credible, full-time, inshore coastguard”.

He added: “Additionally, the regiment seeks to enhance its humanitarian and disaster relief and military aid to civil authorities capability.”

Mr Caines also revealed that the regiment had found a home-based alternative for the overseas camp and two training sessions are to be held.

He said: “The first part will take place in May 2018, with the RBR remaining in Bermuda to conduct a regimental six-day exercise that focuses on confirming fundamental skills and fully preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.

“The second part will take place in October 2018, and will be a five-day inter-agency joint-venture exercise in Bermuda, which will focus on improving interoperability with the other uniformed services.”

Mr Caines said the regiment remained committed to its mission “to support the civil authority with the security of Bermuda, its people, property, livelihood and interests in order to maintain normality”.

He added: “The elimination of conscription has presented the regiment with a golden opportunity to change how they recruit, retain and invest in our people to better achieve its missions and roles”.

Mr Caines said: “I am confident that the cancellation of the 2018 overseas training camp will allow the regiment to realign its focus and emerge better equipped to provide valuable security and disaster relief services for Bermuda.”

• About 20 MPs, including David Burt, the Premier, were evacuated from Sessions House after a fire alarm at about 4pm yesterday.

They returned to the building about 20 minutes later, after Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service conducted a search of the building.

To read Wayne Caines’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”