RFA Mounts Bay is continuing her Caribbean patrol with a regional engagement visit to the British territory of Anguilla where recovery efforts from Irma and Maria are ongoing as a new hurricane season looms.
The centrepiece of the visit was a major exercise at Crocus Bay where the vessel staged an amphibious landing using its mexefloat system to bring disaster relief supplies ashore. Simulating an emergency response the exercise commenced with aerial reconnaissance from the embarked Wildcat helicopter before the shore parties began the transfer of vehicles and humanitarian aid from the ship.
The landing was led by the ship’s complemented of Royal Logistics Corps Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) specialists. Supported by members of the ship’s crew they also tested their capacity to set up communications systems for command and control of the emergency response. There was also engagement with local emergency responders to build working relationships that will be essential in any real emergencies.
As well as undertaking the major exercise the ship’s officers will attend meetings with the Governor, Tim Foy OBE, and Chief Minister, Victor Banks, as well as senior public service officials. As has become tradition the crew will also volunteer their time towards a community project which for this visit will involve painting and fencing repairs as the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
RFA Mounts Bay is forward deployed to the region to maintain the Royal Navy’s year round presence in the Caribbean providing rapid response and reassurance to the local British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth states. The ship played an instrumental role in the response to both hurricanes Irma and Maria and has also supported territories with border security operations. RFA Mounts Bay maintains a regular schedule of territorial visits, having last visited Anguilla in January and recently started her tour in Grand Turk.