RFA Mounts Bay has landed a team of UK military personnel ashore in Martinique in the Caribbean to train in hurricane relief with their French counterparts.
The Royal Navy say in a news release that the vessel is midway through her three-year deployment to the region, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship has been playing host to the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Troop who have been sent out to the region to cover the six months of core hurricane season.
“The time onshore saw both nation’s troops get involved with jungle-tracker training, share experience in a range package using both French and British weapons, and culminating in an earthquake scenario exercise on the north coast of the Caribbean island.
Missions included an infrastructure recce, assessing the buildings and facilities available post-disaster, evacuating and treating casualties, reopening key routes blocked by debris, providing security to reassure civilians and deter looters, and the appropriate handling of refugees.”
Captain Jon Cooke RE, the officer commanding HADR Troop, said,
“The final disaster relief exercise really put us through our paces; we were faced with a realistic threat in a challenging environment alongside our French colleagues.
Given the UK and French presence in the Caribbean, it is important that we understand each other’s capabilities so that we can work together in any future HADR operations.”