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OPERATION RUMAN.

Discussion in 'RM Operational News' started by Rover, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    RFA Mounts Bay delivers vital aid to Caribbean islands

    From:

    Ministry of Defence

    8 September 2017

    RFA Mounts Bay has delivered six tonnes of emergency aid to Anguilla and will shortly arrive in the British Virgin Islands.

    The ship has been deployed in the Caribbean since July in preparation for the hurricane season, ready to provide support at a moment’s notice. Tasked by the Royal Navy, she was the UK’s first military response to the Caribbean.

    The ship carries a specialist disaster relief team - drawn from the Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics 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. They also cleared the runway which was declared safe for relief flights.

    RFA Mounts Bay’s Wildcat helicopter – from 815 Naval Air Squadron based at Yeovilton - also flew Governor Tim Foy on a flight over the island - which is about the size of Plymouth - to survey the damage from the air during seven hours of continuous flying. The reconnaissance flight found widespread damage to infrastructure, schools, government buildings and power supplies.

    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.

    Mounts Bay’s Commanding Officer Capt Stephen Norris RFA said:

    My people worked tirelessly throughout the day with determination and flexibility to support the Governor and the people of Anguilla.

    Although Anguilla suffered extensive damage, normal signs of life were returning - some roads open and the local population beginning a recovery and clear-up operation.

    RFA Mounts Bay is now making for the British Virgin Islands - 90 miles to the west - to concentrate today’s disaster relief efforts.

    As part of a wider military effort, Britain’s flagship HMS Ocean has been diverted from her NATO mission in the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to help with the reconstruction effort - as HMS Illustrious did in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines four years ago.

    Meanwhile, three flights will shortly be departing RAF Brize Norton carrying Royal Marines, Engineers, medical supplies and aid including emergency shelter kits, rations and clean water. Tomorrow a further C17 will leave from Brize Norton carrying two Puma helicopters

    .............................................................................................................

    Also members of the CHF and 40 Commando will be joining HMS Ocean in Gib, additional relief supplies to be loaded then heading west.
     
  2. Jasper87

    Jasper87 New Member

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    So much devistation it's great to see they are starting to get the support my mum lives and works in Tortola and there is nothing left looks like it's been bombed
     
  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Firstly, I hope that your mum stays safe. Even the thought of wind speeds of up to 185 mph boggles my mind.

    I'm unhappy with media coverage that suggests that the UK government has been dragging its feet over giving aid and support. RFA Mounts Bay is the main asset immediately on station. One of the reasons it's there is because of the predictability of hurricane season and it carries stores for the eventuality. RFA Mounts Bay has been lurking as close to the edge of Hurricane Irma as is safe.

    Hopefully our government will now throw at least as much money at our far-flung territories and dependencies as it does to places like Pakistan and Bangladesh.
     
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  4. Jasper87

    Jasper87 New Member

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    IMG_1921.JPG Thanks for your concern thankfully she is in the Uk for a month but braveheart on the left was her home and work now both gone. Its as if people think the Navy are just hanging about until they fancy it, I think if they headed straight into a hurricane it would be on the news for all the wrong reasons
     
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  5. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Yep, that just about sums it up.
    From a practical aspect aid and support can only be deployed after the hurricane has passed. Worryingly, the next storm close on the heels of Irma (Hurricane Jose) has now been upgraded to Category 4.

    The image suggests that yacht Braveheart has lost its keel unless it has one of those modern retractible thingies. Please excuse the technical jargon. :)
     
  6. Jasper87

    Jasper87 New Member

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    Yep you are correct I think it's fare to say it has keeled over
     
  7. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Hurricane Irma: UK military provides relief to the Caribbean
    From:
    Ministry of Defence
    Part of:
    Armed forces and Ministry of Defence reform
    Published:
    9 September 2017

    The UK is continuing to step up its military support to the Caribbean Islands left devastated by Hurricane Irma.

    [​IMG]
    RFA Mounts Bay arrived in the British Virgin Islands at first light today having sailed overnight from Anguilla.
    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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  8. R

    R Well-Known Member

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    The looters are having a great old time out there at the moment.
     
  9. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Dutch soldiers deployed against St Martin looting in wake of Hurricane Irma

    8 September 2017 • 9:33pm

    Dutch troops were fanning out across part of the hurricane-hit island of St Martin on Friday as shots were heard and officials admitted there had been some looting.

    "The situation is serious," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said when asked about looting, adding authorities were being hampered in their efforts to deal with it as communications were cut off when Hurricane Irma roared through on Wednesday.

    Shots had been heard on the island, a top marine official revealed, but said it was unclear where they had come from.

    "Shots have been fired, but not in a structured fashion," Major General Richard Oppelaar, the commander of the Marine Corps, told reporters in The Hague.

    "I can't deny there are some weapons around," he said, adding in some areas the situation remained "grim" and the atmosphere was tense.

    "The supermarkets are empty, so people are out searching," Oppelaar said, adding in principle security was under control with soldiers trying "to be as visible" as possible.01:31

    About 200 Dutch soldiers have now arrived on the island, which is divided between France and The Netherlands, to help deliver aid and restore order, he added.

    The badly damaged airport and port have now "been opened for military purposes," Rutte told reporters, adding "we are doing everything possible to get aid to the area."

    He said food, water and security were the priorities on the island, known in Dutch as Sint Maarten.

    "There are people on the streets armed with revolvers and machetes," one witness told the Dutch daily newspaper AD on Friday.

    Note; For Dutch soldiers read Dutch Marines.
     
  10. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Hurricane Irma: UK Royal Marines take aid to victims


    Five hundred British troops will have arrived in the Caribbean by the end of the day to distribute aid and secure UK territories hit by Hurricane Irma.

    The defence secretary said the hurricane was clearly one of the "most devastating to ever hit the Caribbean".

    Sir Michael Fallon said the government was "stepping up our effort" by sending up to three extra aid planes a day.

    On Friday, Britain's response was said to have been "found wanting" by the heads of two parliamentary committees.

    Sir Michael said that hundreds of troops had been sent to UK overseas territories to help governors secure islands after "unconfirmed reports of looting".

    He added that civilian policemen would be sent to Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to help maintain order.

    Sir Michael said that while chairing a meeting of Cobra, the UK's emergency response committee, the governor of the BVI had confirmed it had reopened an airfield, allowing planes to land.

    The humanitarian mission, known as Operation Ruman, is part of a £32m package to distribute aid, as well as provide troops, engineers and disaster relief specialists.

    Travelling on Royal Air Force C-17, Voyager and A400M aircraft, the military is transporting emergency shelter kits, rations and clean water to the region.

    The UK military ship RFA Mounts Bay continues to provide support to the BVI.

    HMS Ocean has also been diverted from the Mediterranean and is now taking aid to the Caribbean.

    Fifty-three police officers from 14 different forces are due to leave from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, working in co-operation with the Ministry of Defence.

    Aid has also been supplied from the Department for International Development's disaster response centre at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire.

    This includes 10,000 aid buckets and 5,000 solar lanterns.

    Irma has caused huge damage in the British overseas territories of Anguilla, the BVI and the Turks and Caicos islands further north.

    British overseas territories are self-governing but rely on the UK for protection from natural disasters.

    The storm has now reached Cuba and is expected to hit Florida and neighbouring states in the US before the end of the weekend.

    The BVI has declared a state of emergency and the territory's governor Gus Jaspert has warned another storm, Hurricane Jose, could reach the islands.

    Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism for the islands, said the damage was difficult to assess because communications were down, but that "many homes are without roofs, or have been diminished to merely foundations".

    Briton Emily Killhoury, who lives on Tortola in the BVI with her husband Michael and their two children, aged nine and 10, told the BBC her family had bunkered down in a cupboard when the storm hit.

    "Our downstairs doors suddenly blew out, which was terrifying. We just stayed hiding," she said.

    "We eventually emerged at about 7pm to see total devastation. Everybody is shocked, but trying to be practical."

    Meanwhile in non-British areas of the Caribbean, stranded UK citizens have criticised the government, some claiming "there's been no relief".

    Denise Harford had been travelling to a funeral in Grenada, but first went to the Dutch territory of Sint Maartens.

    She said: "There's a curfew that's going to be in place - there's no food, there's no water.

    "There's no help for us, because we're British.

    "We've had nothing from England … there's been no relief."

    She said she'd been advised to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, but added: "How can you check the website when there's no internet?"

    Sir Michael said consular assistance was being offered to people stranded in non-British Caribbean territories.

    What has happened in British territories?

    • Anguilla: Hit by the full blast of the hurricane on Wednesday. At least one death reported.

    • British Virgin Islands: Reports of casualties and fatalities and extensive damage. Expected to require extensive humanitarian assistance.

    • Montserrat: "Swiped" by Irma but suffered less serious damage.

    • Turks and Caicos: Battered by the hurricane on Thursday night, with roofs ripped off, streets flooded, utility poles snapped and a widespread black-out on the main island of Grand Turk.


     
  11. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    HMS Ocean arrives in Caribbean to boost UK disaster relief effort

    From:

    Department for International Development, Ministry of Defence, The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

    Part of:

    International defence commitments

    Published:

    22 September 2017

    The Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean has arrived in the British Virgin Islands to support those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

    The ship arrived today with around 650 personnel and 60 tonnes of aid including construction equipment and other essential materials such as hygiene kits and water purification tablets.

    Ocean’s arrival means there are now over 2,000 UK military personnel working on the relief effort, making it the largest deployment of UK personnel anywhere in the world.

    Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said:

    The sight of HMS Ocean dropping anchor in the British Overseas Territories will be welcome respite to those who have seen their islands battered by repeated hurricanes. Ocean will help support the longer-term reconstruction of the Caribbean islands which have been devastated by this unprecedented hurricane season.

    The fact that this is our largest operation worldwide underlines the scale of the damage caused and the Government’s commitment to UK citizens spread across the region and in need of our support.

    In the coming days she will deliver aid and equipment where it is needed on the islands. She is then due to continue to other territories affected by this month’s storms, as the Department for International Development (DFID) works with the Overseas Territories’ Governments on a long term plan to get the islands back on their feet.

    Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean, Captain Robert Pedre Royal Navy, said:

    HMS Ocean stands ready to contribute her significant capabilities to the major UK effort already underway to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the Caribbean region.

    We bring tonnes of aid, significant air and surface lift capacity and hundreds of highly skilled personnel including engineers, logisticians and medical professionals drawn from all three Services. My Ship‘s Company and embarked forces are highly trained and we are ready to make a real difference.

    There are considerable military assets in the region supporting UK personnel in the relief effort. RFA Mounts Bay has been in region since July, responding to initial disaster relief effort.

    Commanding Officer of RFA Mounts Bay, Captain Stephen Norris, said:

    RFA Mounts Bay has been stationed in the Caribbean since July working with the Overseas Territories in preparation for the 2017 Hurricane season. The ships company and embarked forces, made up of disaster relief specialists and equipment, has been providing critical support to the Islands since Irma first struck on the 6th September.

    My people have worked tirelessly on the herculean task to assist those effected, and are committed to continuing with the delivery of life supporting aid and to helping the local population with recovery and rebuilding.

    There is also a C-130 aircraft and two Chinook helicopters providing tactical airlift operations, three Puma and a Wildcat helicopter conducting reconnaissance flights and helping to deliver supplies and aid. On board, HMS Ocean also carried three Wildcat Mk1, one Merlin Mk2, three Merlin Mk3 and two Chinook helicopters.

    The UK has already committed £57m to the relief effort and are matching public commitments to the British Red Cross Appeal up to £3m, and so far 75 tonnes of much-needed humanitarian aid has arrived or been bought in the region.

    International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said:

    The UK has acted without hesitation to get the right supplies to those whose lives have been torn apart by these catastrophic hurricanes. With 60 tonnes of aid arriving on HMS Ocean today we are almost doubling the amount of aid from the UK for the worst hit islands.

    Ocean is bringing 5,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 water buckets and over 500,000 water purification tablets to provide more than 10 million litres of water, along with more troops to support our aid experts on the ground who are helping restore the lives of those who have lost everything.

    There are also six FCO Rapid Deployment Teams in the region to work closely with the governments and 36 DFID aid experts on the ground working on immediate recovery and the long term humanitarian effort.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hms-ocean-arrives-in-caribbean-to-boost-uk-disaster-relief-effort
     
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  12. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Foreign aid FARCE: British military left with £50 million hurricane bill

    THE British military has been left with a £50 million bill after going to the aid of overseas territories following devastating hurricanes.

    By Thomas Mackie

    PUBLISHED: 02:26, Sat, Oct 7, 2017 | UPDATED: 02:48, Sat, Oct 7, 2017

    Thousands of people were affected by Irma, but defence chiefs now face a £50 million bill after setting out to help those in need as British Overseas Territories are deemed too wealthy to receive any of the UK's foreign aid budget.

    Over 2,000 British military personnel were deployed to the Caribbean to assist those whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

    The Royal Navy launched a relief effort after the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by natural disasters.

    Speaking at the Conservative party conference Theresa May said it was “absurd” that aid money could not be used to help those who were affected.

    She said: ”Many people on those islands have been left with nothing.

    "And if we must change the rules on international aid in order to recognise the particular needs of these communities when disaster strikes, then that's what we will do.”

    It comes amid fears that the Navy losing their ability to "fight on beaches" as both specialists landing ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark risk being taken out of service under cost-cutting proposals.-banghead-

    Last year, the UK spent £13 billion on foreign aid, which is overseen by the Department for International Development (DfID).

    Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said: “We have a colossal DfID budget and it is outrageous that money cannot be used for disaster relief in this situation.


    "Instead the bill is being paid for by the Ministry of Defence.


    “That cannot be right and it highlights the need for radical change to the way we operate our overseas aid budget.”


    Backbench Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg added: “Dfid money clearly ought to be used to help the British Virgin Islands.”

    Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon insisted the rules must be changed so money does not affect his budget.

    He said: “It is extraordinary that the military aid we have been able to give to the Caribbean, all that aid we gave after the hurricane, is not classified as overseas development assistance.

    Military left with £50 million hurricane bill:(-banghead-

    “We do need to continue to improve those rules so more of what is quite clearly humanitarian relief and not an armed operation can be properly classified.”

    The British military was heralded for its work to help those in need, with HMS Ocean carrying 60 tonnes of aid to the disaster-stricken islands.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/86...aid-military-harvey-katrina-aid-military-navy