Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster visited the Caribbean this week to reassure local governments of the UK’s support, prior to the 2018 hurricane season.
“No matter what the elements throw at our Overseas Territories this year, we will be there to help them every step of the way throughout 2018 and beyond”
Mark Lancaster MP
Last year’s hurricane season was the costliest on record, with over $280bn in damage. The UK responded to both hurricanes Irma and Maria, deploying over 2,000 personnel, and delivering 109 tonnes of aid.
Colorado State University are currently predicting 4 hurricanes this year, as well as 1 ‘major hurricane’.
RFA Mounts Bay will act as the hub of the UK’s response. She’s been in the area since last year and isn’t scheduled to leave until 2020. Mounts Bay will continue to assist with rebuilding post-Irma, as well as providing aid in the aftermath of coming hurricanes.
Lancaster was able to speak to island governors and residents about their needs as they continue to recover from last year’s hurricanes. It is understood that Mounts Bay will assist the British Overseas Territories first in the aftermath of a hurricane, before supporting other local governments.
A Wildcat HMA2 is on board Mounts Bay, and will be operating in the region for the first time this year. The Wildcat went through extreme high temperature trials in the Persian Gulf back in 2015.