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Mounts Bay is typically used to move Royal Marines, their vehicles and supplies ashore during amphibious operations.

Published 4th July 2017, 9:12am

RFA Mounts Bay will test its disaster recovery response during a planned landing of equipment on Governor's Beach on Friday, 7 and Saturday, 8 July 2017.

Mounts Bay starts her deployment to the Caribbean in the Cayman Islands, the first of the Overseas Territories to be visited. The UK maintains a year round naval presence in the Caribbean to provide a rapid response to any emergency in the Overseas Territories. The vessel is also used in anti-narcotics work in the region.

Over the 5 day visit, UK military personnel will join forces with Hazard Management, the Fire Service, RCIPS and Northward Prison to deliver training, technical support, a ground clearance project and the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise.

A portion of Governor's Beach will have restricted access to the public during the exercise to allow the Royal Navy to replicate the landing of heavy duty equipment and supplies in the aftermath of a disaster, for example a major hurricane. The HADR operation will begin on Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday. Representatives from other Overseas Territories Disaster Management teams will also be on the island to observe and learn from this exciting and significant operation.

Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick stressed that "when disaster strikes, the response must be rapid, coordinated and appropriate to ensure effective delivery of relief and aid. An operation of this kind allows us to test our ability to deploy immediate help at short notice and be prepared well in advance of any major disaster. We apologise for any disruption to the public on Governor's Beach during these dates and ask for your understanding, given the importance of this exercise."

Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands McCleary Frederick added: "Primary responsibility for dealing with the aftermath of a major incident lies with the Cayman Islands Government but the ability of the UK military to deliver equipment and manpower to assist in the response is essential. We welcome the chance to test a coordinated response, which is essential during any emergency."

Background: RFA Mounts Bay is one of three Landing Ship Docks (Auxiliary). During operational Service, RFA Mounts Bay has already played a key role in many amphibious exercises, including operations off Sierra Leone, the Baltic Regions, around the coast of the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

Mounts Bay is typically used to move Royal Marines, their vehicles and supplies ashore during amphibious operations. Most recently she has focused her efforts on trying to curb people trafficking/smuggling into Europe from Africa and the Middle East, and deal with the ongoing aftermath of Libya's civil war in 2011.