The UK’s Caribbean task force practised helping an island threatened by a volcano, say the Royal Navy.
Support ship RFA Argus made use of the very real threat to the people of Montserrat to roll out disaster relief plans once again.
“The two ships have been roaming the region for most of the year, alternating their time between intercepting illegal drug shipments across the Caribbean and training for the aftermath of a hurricane striking British territories. Although the 2020 hurricane season – now drawing to a close – has been the second busiest on record, thankfully no storm has hit one of the UK’s island communities with full force, requiring the intervention of the task group.
The danger of a volcanic eruption on Montserrat – known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean for its lush vegetation – however, never goes away. When long-dormant Soufrière Hills volcano erupted in 1995, it destroyed the island’s airport, rendered the capital Plymouth uninhabitable and prompted two thirds of Montserrat’s population to flee.”
The Royal Navy say in a news release that the Crisis Response Troop were landed ashore in the deserted wilderness zone on the south side of the island – off limits to inhabitants and that the Commando Helicopter Force flew in a specialist team to set up a mobile landing site by dropping from Merlin helicopters by rope.
As the exercise drew to a close, RFA Argus was joined by the other ship in her task group, patrol vessel HMS Medway which is permanently stationed in the Caribbean.