British navy to land equipment on 7MB

| 03/07/2017 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

RFA Mounts Bay

(CNS): Tourists enjoying the beauty of Seven Mile Beach on Friday and Saturday could be in for a surprise when the Royal Navy simulates a post hurricane exercise in front of Government House. RFA Mounts Bay, a British naval auxiliary landing ship, will test its disaster recovery response and land a range of heavy equipment and supplies directly on Governor’s Beach.

RFA Mounts Bay begins a deployment to the Caribbean this week, starting in the Cayman Islands, the first of the British Overseas Territories on its ports of call. The UK maintains a year-round naval presence in the region to provide a rapid response to any emergency in the BOTs and for anti-narcotics work.

The vessel will be in Cayman for five days and the military personnel will join forces with Hazard Management, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, RCIPS and Northward Prison to deliver training, technical support, a ground clearance project and the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise.

Access to the part of Seven Mile Beach where the landing is taking place will be restricted during the exercise, when the landing of heavy duty equipment and the kind of supplies needed in the aftermath of a hurricane or other disaster will be unloaded from the vessel.

The drill begins Friday afternoon and will continue through Saturday, when representatives from other BOT disaster management teams will also be on Grand Cayman to watch and learn.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick said, “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.”

McCleary Frederick, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, said that the responsibility for dealing with the aftermath of a disaster was with the Cayman government but that help of the UK military equipment was essential.

“We welcome the chance to test a coordinated response, which is essential during any emergency,” he added.

Members of the public are reminded to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season and any other hazard. For tips on preparing yourself and your home, visit the HMCI at




Editors Notes:

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.

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Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wonder why such a high profile part of SMB is being used. Surely a less popular area or another beach altogether could have been selected.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should they do it in hiding?!? It can be educational.
      I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because this is a public display and political message of capability and governance. The Royal Marines already know that they can land a LCVP Mark V and/or BvS10 Viking on a sandy beach in 2m seas. This isn’t an R&D visit, or a training exercise…they know it will work. They’ve practiced it a million times – it’s what they do for a living. Some of our politicians will certainly be invited to Governor’s House to witness and be made to understand this capability in a classically understated British way. The UK can make a beachhead here for a variety of reasons and assume command and control in minutes, not all of them related to humanitarian relief. A long overdue message if you ask around!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are hilarious, lol!

        Clearly a passionate British patriot, but you may want to choose your moments going forward.


  2. Anonymous says:

    akkkkk…martians are attacking?

  3. Sharkey says:

    I think that Anonymous 6:42pm, is complaining about the ship moving in and disrupting his business trade.

  4. Anonymous says:

    6.42 I suggest you tear up your British passport (which no doubt you appled for from the mother country), as it should never have been issued to someone displaying such gross ignorance by bringing in the completely unrelated Grenfell tragedy in your comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical and predictable cheap shot here.

      The fact remains, not only did the UK create the inevitable risk but they’ve also proven themselves incapable to address the fallout.

      We can only hope they perform better with a big boat far from home on a ravaged island in the Caribbean.

      Whatever the case, I don’t care to know.

  5. Sharkey says:

    We should all be thankful that the exercise is happening BEFORE it’s needed in an EMERGENCY/HURRICANE. But did you read and understand all of what the ship does. I am happy that their presence are known in the Cayman islands . I said that all the Government needed to do was to ask Mama and you would be given.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Probably miss the Governors Beach and end up clearing out the rock for the Dart Boyz!
    a little farther North

  7. Anonymous says:

    Presumably this exercise and landing will be conducted at Governor’s Beach?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lets hope no turtles are nesting on the Governors Beach this week.

  9. John says:

    6:42 you are so wrong.
    So you want us to become screwed up Jamaica? Are they better off with Independence?

    • Anonymous says:

      Every time someone has to mention Jamaica when it comes to independence.

      Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are worlds apart in every relevant aspect of this issue – not to mention, that was over 50 years ago!

      Are you living a standard of existence identical to your grandparents?
      I doubt it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Plus Jamaica did not plan their independence correctly, another reason their plan turned out to be insidious.

  10. General Cornwall says:

    D – Day in Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hardly. Same beach was used in the 1960’s to land Hadsphaltic’s equipment for the airport runway upgrade.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    If the UK government can’t manage to not house their own people in flammable structures we should have little faith in their ability to assist the overseas territories in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

    This is a laughable attempt of the mother country desperately trying to remain relevant in a world that has changed at a rate beyond her capability.

    They’ve had a good run, however the reality is they are reduced themselves to the status of a failing state – in just about every respect of the term.

    Faded glory is of no value in these modern times. It is time we seriously consider turning a few pages in the book of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      How’s the Cayman navy doin’? Planning on begging to America in times of hurricanes?

    • Anonymous says:

      6.42, please leave your name and address on here, so when the time comes (and we all know it is when, not if), then we can studiously avoid having to waste resources on you, and give it to people who want it. However, given the tone and nature of your comment I suspect you will be the first to start whining about not getting any help.

      • Anonymous says:

        You hit it right on the head – resources.

        First of all, the UK clearly cannot afford to be using up any spare resources these days considering their austerity and governmental crises.

        Secondly, your tone is precisely at the heart of this exercise.

        Meaning, the UK does nothing for free and she essentially needs her overseas territories to be dependent. When one defies the typical status quo (i.e. Cayman) she will go out of her way to create an illusion and documentation of services and resources rendered thereon.

        Hence this little boat and ‘chopper exercise in futility.

        Again, thanks but no thanks. We’ll continue as we have and NOT call you even when it appears we “need” you …you know, like during the last natural disaster we experienced.

        Anyway, that ended up just being one more reason why the current administration and govt leader is her “blue-eye baby” as the colour-struck and mentally conquered folks ’round here like to say.

        • Anonymous says:

          9.10am Britain is suffering from an austerity programme but it still paid out 13 billion pounds in overseas aid last year. Fortunately the British Government excludes the Cayman Islands as being self sufficient, so that local yokels with their head in the sand like you do not benefit.
          To people like you I say go ahead and seek independence, which will be freely given, and then you will get your just. desserts

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes 13 billion pounds in foreign aid to corrupt African leaders to feather their nests and build their palaces while their citizens remain in poverty plus a huge amount to India who has said they don’t need it. Utter madness brought about by guilt at the colonial past while it does not help in the slightest the ordinary citizen, just the tit sucking corrupt leaders.

            • Veritas says:

              I’m so sorry your corrupt leaders didn’t get any. Please rid yourself of your colonial past, hand back your British passports and become independent. Then when things go wrong you won’bt be able to blame Britain anymore/

              • Anonymous says:

                1.) If our leaders are corrupt at least they are so independently with no “help” by the UK along the way.

                2.) Everything is going well – and again, that is without any “help” from the UK.

                3.) Speaking of corrupt leaders; how’s the property portfolio of ol’ Iraq-oil company-Chairman, war-criminal Tony Blair looking these days?


          • Anonymous says:

            The UK paid £6bn in aid. £7bn of the figure you quote pays for membership of international organisations. The £13bn figure is bandied about by ignorant Brexitard bigots.

            • Anonymous says:

              The £13 billion is 0.7% of GNI as mandated by UK law. 37% is spent via international organisations, such as the UN and the EU aid programs, plus some of the larger NGOs, 63% is spent as bilateral aid (2015 figures). There is no evidence that any significant amounts are spent on “membership” of any organisations.

          • Anonymous says:

            I couldn’t care less about the UK’s budget and foreign aid foolishness – I care about the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          I smell a Who.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘It is time we seriously consider turning a few pages in the book of the Cayman Islands.’

      elements of your rant become contradictory, – instead of practicing and implementing strategy, lets do what we usually do and shut the gate once the horse has bolted…

    • Will says:

      That’s kinda rich coming from a little island that derives most of its income from dodgy off-shore banking.

      • Anonymous says:

        An MLA famously said, ” if you think education is expensive”………….then try IGNORANCE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you need a trip on the BA prison plane to see what you’re missing.

    • Mimi says:

      Sounds just like the sort of thing Whodatis would say….

    • Anonymous says:

      What is wrong with you?

    • New resident says:

      Flammable buildings was an oversight, a terrible tragedy. Not enough checks were done on that kind of cladding. The poorest in society live in those blocks, it’s social housing and was upgraded to make them look better, not for brits but mainly foreign nationals. I feel quite sad reading through the comments on this article it looks as though the locals don’t like the UK or any involvement from it. It is laughable though quoting independence good luck with that one be careful what you wish for as the uk would quite gladly let go of these islands if the people wanted it.

      • Sharkey says:

        New resident ,
        You have to take those kind and comments with a grain of salt , I am not sure if they knows what is needed or what is best for the Country in times of disaster relief , but when they get it that time they might see it then .

        But I would agree that the exercise was much needed to know and that Mother stepped up to show that they can and is willing to do in times of disaster .

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