HADR Tp (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Troop) deployed ashore from RFA Mounts Bay to Martinique for Ex WATERLOO SUNSET.
The Tp consists of 19 Royal Engineers and Royal Marines and is deployed in the Caribbean for 6 months for the Core Hurricane Season. The 10-day interoperability exercise saw HADR Tp working alongside Noir 30 Platoon from 1st Company, 13th Engineer Regiment, currently attached to the 33rd Marine Infantry Battalion for a 4-month deployment to the French Caribbean.
The Ministry of Defence say that the exercise began with low-level training in Fort de France, and culminated in a three day Field Training Exercise (FTX) on the outskirts on Martinique’s jungles. Training included capability briefs, a comparison of infantry and Engr SOPs, jungle tracker training and a range package with use of both French and UK weapons.
At the end of this phase HADR Tp took on the Fort Desaix obstacle course – a high wire team-based obstacle course around the Fort – and broke the course record despite having extra personnel to move through each obstacle.
The FTX saw HADR Tp and N30 Pl responding to an earthquake scenario on the N coast of Martinique. Missions included infrastructure recce, evacuating and treating casualties, re-opening key routes blocked by debris, providing security to reassure civilians and deter looters and refugee handling.
The MoD say it provided a realistic and challenging scenario which saw Fr and UK personnel working together in mixed Troops. This allowed French personnel to translate and liaise with locals and HADR Tp to share their lessons learned from a variety of locations during Op RUMAN in 2017.