RFA Mounts Bay has begun its support to Grand Turk island in the Turks and Caicos islands, in support of the Commando force from 3 Cdo Brigade personnel from 40 Commando Royal Marines and 59 Commando Royal Engineers.
According to a press release, the ship is heavily utilising her mexeflote rafts which are capable of delivering heavy machine across a beach.
The Mexeflote is a landing raft used by the Royal Logistic Corps and the Royal Australian Navy to move goods and vehicles between ship and shore. It was first used by British military in the 1960s.
It was used during the Falklands conflict, and has been used in humanitarian aid missions since.
The Mexeflote delivered much required building stores, JCB diggers and transport vehicles.
Within hours of unloading the vehicles, the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief troop from RFA Mounts Bay were setting about clearing debris and damaged roofing from the local primary school.
The school, E.L. Simons Primary School received a battering from hurricane Irma and lost 40ft sections of its roof. Internally the school sustained significant losses to its supplies and teaching materials say the MoD.
The clearance effort by the team will allow repair work to begin in the coming days so that the infants on the island can return to school as soon as possible.
“The level of devastation to the school is heart wrenching as this school not only provides the children with a good education, it also acts a central point for the community to interact alongside the future population of the island.” Said Lt Steve Dunning RN, Officer commanding the Combined Joint Operation Combat Camera Team, sent to record the devastation and building work.
During the frantic work above, the commando engineers continued with the re-establishment of some TCI Government buildings on the island. The MoD say this work is vital in assisting the local authorities in the coordination of the relief effort.