News story: Hurricane Irma: UK military provides relief to the Caribbean

#1
Named Operation Ruman, on Friday nearly 300 UK military personnel equipped with aid supplies left the UK to provide immediate relief to people who have seen their homes destroyed.

Departing from RAF Brize Norton, a C17, Voyager and A400M aircraft carried over 200 Royal Marines, as well as Engineers and specialist personnel from all three Services, medical supplies and aid including emergency shelter kits, rations and clean water. Amongst those deployed were the 40 Commando Royal Marines and 3 Commando Brigade.

The aircraft have now landed in Barbados, as part of the UK Joint Taskforce in Barbados. The taskforce will use Barbados as a hub to distribute aid. The C17 continued its journey onto the US Virgin Islands – the island with the only usable runway in the region - with 85 personnel on board.

On Saturday, another C17 left from Brize Norton carrying a Puma helicopter and the UK is planning to send another Puma to the Caribbean tomorrow.

In addition to the arrival of the aircraft, RFA Mounts Bay has also reached the British Virgin Islands, with a Wildcat Helicopter embarked conducting reconnaissance flights and a helicopter to help deliver supplies and aid. Her crew will help with structural repairs and restabilising communication.

The 16 Royal Engineer Commandos, deployed from Mounts Bay, are also providing key support to the British Virgin Islands including to the Governor who has made clear that his priority to restore law and order and to put vital communications are in place. They are also working hard to clear runway, making it serviceable and allowing for further aid to reach the islands.

In addition to the support offered by RFA Mounts Bay in the Caribbean, HMS Ocean was also diverted from her tasking in the Mediterranean to the Caribbean in order to bring the help the islanders get back up on their feet after the hurricanes have passed. HMS Ocean will embark equipment and aid at Gibraltar on passage to the Caribbean on Monday.

Aid has also been supplied from DFID’s disaster response centre at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire, including 10,000 UK aid buckets and 5,000 UK solar lanterns. This aid is will reach those in need in the next few days by the quickest and most effective route possible.

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#2
Inevitably, the "people who know" are dripping like buggery about the UK response; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...ribbean-recovery-cuba-st-martin-a7939886.html

Although I have some sympathy with "The Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency (CDMA) said defence cuts had slashed the Royal Navy’s presence in the region, despite it being the height of the hurricane season", MOUNTS BAY is a better asset for the task than the WIGS DD/FF we fielded in the previous Century. The standing problem will always be that an asset can't be in 2 places at the same time. That 200 miles to the British Virgin Islands from Antigua and Barbuda can be a bugger.
 
#3
Inevitably, the "people who know" are dripping like buggery about the UK response; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...ribbean-recovery-cuba-st-martin-a7939886.html

Although I have some sympathy with "The Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency (CDMA) said defence cuts had slashed the Royal Navy’s presence in the region, despite it being the height of the hurricane season", MOUNTS BAY is a better asset for the task than the WIGS DD/FF we fielded in the previous Century. The standing problem will always be that an asset can't be in 2 places at the same time. That 200 miles to the British Virgin Islands from Antigua and Barbuda can be a bugger.
Totally agree re the dripping. Whilst sympathising with the poor s*ds who have been injured (or worse) or made homeless, it's a bit rich to choose a Caribbean holiday in the hurricane season and then whinge that you have been let down by the Government.
 
#4
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41236692

It's OK now,Boris is on his way. But...........

"His trip follows criticism from people living in the Caribbean and senior MPs that the UK's response was too slow.

"Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the British government "should have acted much faster", and those with relatives in hurricane-hit areas have said they have not been supported."

Despite the fact that RFA Mounts Bay was pre-positioned. And it's good to see that in adversity politicians don't try and score points.
 
#5
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41236692

It's OK now,Boris is on his way. But...........

"His trip follows criticism from people living in the Caribbean and senior MPs that the UK's response was too slow.

"Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the British government "should have acted much faster", and those with relatives in hurricane-hit areas have said they have not been supported."

Despite the fact that RFA Mounts Bay was pre-positioned. And it's good to see that in adversity politicians don't try and score points.
So what would Corbyn have liked the UK to do much faster? Did he want the UK to issue food and provide relief before the hurricane? While it is a disaster for people living there, there was no sense in having a ship arrive in port during the hurricane. It had to be relatively safe for RFA Mounts Bay to get in region.

Political point scoring yet again. Perhaps he could have had his shadow foreign secretary abstain last night so that Boris could have left earlier.
 

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