One month after they landed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the remaining members of 40 Commando Royal Marines are on their way back to the UK.
Flying in a Royal Air Force A400M, the commandos will transit through Barbados and then back to RAF Brize Norton on a Voyager Air Tanker.
Their departure comes after the press conference held by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands, Gus Jaspert, where he thanked the military for their assistance but explained that their work across the territory was now complete.
During the initial military relief effort, British forces made a significant and measurable contribution across the BVI, according to the MoD.
“Initially the military supported the police with a 24 / 7 patrolling presence to ensure security across the territory. They assisted local forces in securing the prison and in improving its infrastructure. Additionally they provided command and control for the transfer of 21 high risk prisoners to St. Lucia.
Engineers have cleared routes across Tortola, ensuring roads are free of debris to allow access for essential services and local people. The entirety of ridge road was cleared immediately after Maria, allowing dislocated communities to move freely.
They have also savaged over 60% of the electric pylons parts to allow BVI Electric Corporation to reconnect the islands quicker.
Engineering teams located at the Power Station ensured the critical systems were waterproofed prior to Maria allowing mains power to return to the hospital and banks only days after. The same teams also worked at the reverse osmosis plant to ensure a supply of fresh water was maintained.”
Yesterday saw the first commercial flight into Terrance B. Lettsome Airport. Royal Marines had worked round the clock the reinstate the fence and clear debris from the terminal to allow the return of these civilian flights.
40 Commando saw elements of the unit redeploy straight from the islands last week onto HMS Ocean.
They will provide the specialist amphibious manpower aboard the ship to react to routine and emergent crisis. The remainder of the unit are returning to their base on Norton Manor Camp, Taunton.