RAF C-17 Transporting British Army soldiers deployed on Operation RUMAN after Hurricane Irma, Caribbean (Crown Copyright, 2017)

British Army Deploys on Op RUMAN

Soldiers Tweet Operation in Response to Hurricane Irma

The British Army has deployed to the Caribbean to provide immediate assistance with the humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Irma.

Engineering, logistics and medical specialists are deploying as part of a joint tri-service task group supporting British Overseas Territories in the region.

Units involved include elements from the UK’s high-readiness reaction force, the 3rd (UK) Division, and 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, a specialised, hybrid Army Regular and Reserves unit, recruiting qualified and student engineers, 24 Commando Engineer Regiment and the Royal Logistic Corps.

170 Engineer Group tweeted a picture of those being immediately deployed on September 8.

RFA Mounts Bay has already delivered six tonnes of emergency aid to Anguilla, the British Overseas Territory devastated by Hurricane Irma, and will shortly arrive in the British Virgin Islands to provide further support.

The ship carries a specialist disaster relief team – drawn from the Royal Engineers and Royal Logistic Corps – as well as heavy plant for lifting and shifting and emergency kit and shelters provided by the Department for International Development. Also on board are the Royal Navy’s Mobile Aviation Support Force – aviation specialists, meteorological advisors and flight deck crews.

Engineers were on hand to stop a potentially-dangerous fuel leak at Anguilla’s main petrol dump, restore power to the island’s sole hospital and hand out shelters providing temporary homes for people left homeless by the storm.

As a result of the sortie, the island’s leaders and ship’s team decided to focus efforts on supporting the police headquarters as the hub of the relief effort, get the hospital on its feet again, and reinforce two shelter stations – particularly important with Hurricane José now barrelling towards the region. They also cleared the runway which was declared safe for relief flights.

Royal Logistic Corps in Op RUMAN

Members of the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps conducting recce of exit from the beach ahead of landing personnel, stores and vehicles in Operation RUMAN

Specially trained troops deployed in the early hours of the morning from RAF Brize Norton as part of relief effort for areas devastated by Hurricane Irma.

24 Commando, Royal Engineers

24 Commando Engineer Regiment, the Corps of Royal Engineers, left RAF Brize Norton on September 9 in an RAF C-17. Based in Chivenor, North Devon, 24 Commando Engineer Regiment is required to conduct operations across the spectrum of conflict in support of 3 Commando Brigade, meaning that each member must be trained in amphibious warfare, as well as know how to operate; in the jungle, across deserts, over mountainous terrain and in arctic conditions.

24 Commando Royal Engineers based on amphibious support ship RFA Mounts Bay have the skills and equipment to repair infrastructure and re-open damaged routes, as they did in Anguilla by restoring power to the hospital.

Britain has six overseas territories in the Caribbean – our role is to deliver security, support and reassurance, helping to meet the emergency needs as part of the wider international effort.

The British Army remains ready to adapt rapidly to different and evolving global challenges.

Update, 14 September: 77th Brigade

The British Army’s 77th Brigade has also reported that it is involved in the humanitarian mission in areas stricken by Hurricane Irma. The 77th Brigade has significant experience and training in responding to natural disasters.

Source: British Army

Image: RAF C-17 Transporting British Army soldiers deployed on Operation RUMAN after Hurricane Irma, Caribbean (Crown Copyright, 2017). UK military personnel prepare to board an RAF C-17 transport aircraft and Voyager passenger aicraft supporting humanitarian aid operations at Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 8 September 2017. Royal Air Force logisticians from RAF Brize Norton have assisted with the delivery of military personnel and aid cargo to the Caribbean to support disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane IRMA. RAF aircraft – including C-17, A400M and Voyager aircraft – are supporting a joint task force of RAF, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Navy personnel who are supporting the Department for International Development as it delivers aid to stricken Caribbean islands.