Royal Navy to fill in for RCIPS choppers

| 21/05/2020 | 34 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): One of the RCIPS’ two helicopters remains in the United States, where it has been since before the current health crisis, and the other is due for routine maintenance and must be sent off-island for two weeks in June. However, the gap in police support left by the absence of these two machines will be plugged by Royal Navy ship, according to a release from the governor’s office.

The release stated that one of the two RCIPS Air Operations Unit’s H145 helicopters was sent to the US “to receive an upgrade of specialist equipment before the COVID crisis led to a cessation of work at the maintenance base there and the closure of borders”.

The AOU has been operating with just one helicopter “and flying hours far in excess of normal operations”, the governor’s office said, noting that its activity had been focused on COVID-19 related police work, “in particular assistance with curfew enforcement and border protection”.

However, the governor’s office said that the RCIPS’ second chopper is due for routine annual maintenance checks, given the numbers of hours flown. It will therefore be off-island for two weeks in June, leaving the RCIPS without a helicopter.

To cover this two-week period, the choppers from the Royal Navy ship, RFA Argus, will be providing air cover for the Cayman Islands, the governor’s office said, noting that this was arranged with the help of the UK military’s Security Assistance Team (SAT) that is currently in Cayman. 

The RFA Argus has three Merlin Helicopters and one Wildcat helicopter on board. The Royal Navy helicopters will be operating from its ship and will work closely with the RCIPS, including for border protection, anti-drug and weapons operations and search and rescue. 

Governor Martyn Roper said that this assistance would ensure that the Cayman Islands and its borders “remain safe at a time of great uncertainty”. He said the AOU had done “a fantastic job since the start of this crisis, and will continue to work closely with the Navy during this deployment. They are old friends and have deployed together to the Bahamas in support of operations following Hurricane Dorian last year.”

Roper added, “I am grateful for the work the SAT team has already done and the support they are providing on a number of issues. This includes helping to facilitate places for the five Cayman Islands Regiment Officers who are heading to the UK on Saturday to attend the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

“The arrangement for the Royal Navy to provide air cover to us, during the RCIPS helicopter’s maintenance run to the USA, is particularly welcome and a good example of the work that has been done,” he said.

The RFA Argus, one of the Royal Navy Caribbean task force ships, arrived in the Cayman Islands area on 4 May, replacing the RFA Mounts Bay, which supported the region after a number of hurricanes hit, including Maria, Irma and Dorian.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That is great news that the UK are here and taking over somethings. Great to have there assistance and oversight on Police Air Support, they will interdict drug smugglers with ease.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To: all you Trolls and Crazies
    Time to post something about the invasion of your “country.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    They are coming for our turtle meat!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am given to understand their guns are trained on the statue of Jim Bodden in town and they are just waiting for the Governor to give the order to take over Cayman and declare it an English possession.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Will the be armed? We need some missles fired into West bay, Windsor Park and Prospect aimed at dirt bikes

  6. Anonymous says:

    Had to explain to my children why we all have to wear masks. Now have to explain why the military is flying around.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Please Lord protect us from the war makers.

  9. ELO says:

    So, the Royal Navy, arguably the best Navy there is are allowing their aircraft to be used whilst RCIPS aircraft are unavailable. And yet people attack this, call it a jolly. I’m sure the crew would rather be back in the UK with family just now but they are doing their duty. To help protect Cayman. Some people need to reflect on “Cayman Kind”

  10. Anonymous says:

    What are you on about? TROLL ALERT

    CNS: Occasionally, comments that are supposed to be replies somehow come out as first in the nest. I think this happened here. Apologies! I don’t know how to fix this.

    • Anonymous says:

      It happens when slow down and go back message appears once or few times, eventually the response comment either gets posted or cleared without posting. In what appears to be original “reply window” which has been cleared by “going back”, the comment is re-written, but it goes “first in the nest” instead of being a response.

      CNS: Thanks for that. Hopefully, WordPress will fix this in one of their frequent updates.

      • Anonymous says:

        it works like that:
        I want to “reply” to a comment ➜ I click on “reply” button under the comment and type my response➜ I click on “post comment” button, then several things could happen:
        #1 my response is posted without problems
        #2 I get a message I am too fast and should go back➜ I go back, then 3 things could happen:
        #1 I get another “too fast, go back” message, sometime several times
        #2 my response is posted
        #3 my response is cleared, meaning: the reply window is there, and appears to be in the right place (under the comment I am responding to), but my typed comment is gone, so I have to retype it again, then either A or B happens again. And if at this point it is posted (meaning: my re-typed comment is finally posted), it would not appear under the comment I am replying to, but at the top of all comments.

        If it had happened to you several times, you already know that you should “select all” and “copy” your comment in order not to retype again it but “paste”.

        CNS: I’d love to hear from anyone who knows of any solutions to this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Related to the UKs SAT in Cayman. did I correctly understand that all of them are still in quarantine because one tested “borderline positive for covid19?

    What does that even mean? Anyone?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Who they’re after? Drugs smugglers?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I knew it was no good when they visited for a jolly awhile back. This is the last thing we need!

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