(CMR) Governor Martyn Roper on Tuesday (June 23) thanked the UK Ministry of Defence, in particular, the Royal Navy for their support over the past weeks, as he said goodbye to the departing group.
The Royal Navy ship RFA Argus arrived in Grand Cayman on May 4, they were deployed to bolster support for the RCIPS while some of their helicopters were undergoing maintenance.
“I would like to thank the UK Ministry of Defence and in particular the Royal Navy for their strong support over the last couple of weeks providing cover for our Police helicopter. It is a signal of the UK’s commitment to the security of the Overseas Territories and a reassuring presence during hurricane season,” he said.
“It’s been a good opportunity to learn and understand the capabilities of the new ships and in particular how the helicopters would provide us with the support we might need in a post-hurricane scenario.COVID-19 has interfered with some of the usual visits and tours that would normally be run to help us with that learning process but we have put virtual meetings and videos to good use, “added
During its two-week stay, RFA Argus provided a solid base on the horizon for the Merlin and Wildcat helicopters to work from.
They have become a familiar sight on the horizon and the troops on board have taken part in disaster management exercises, tested their resources in the Botanical Park and practiced their board and search operations with the Cayman Islands Coastguard.
Some members of the crisis troop participated in an exercise on Colliers Beach and have more recently been using their combat engineering skills to help with some maintenance work at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park.
The work at the park was to clear an invasive species of Logwood from parts of the botanical gardens’ fence line to prevent the green iguana from entering the gardens.
However, due to COVID-19, the ship did not have a chance to complete some of its usual exercises but have recorded and shared videos to help with the local familiarisation process.