Tuesday 27 October, 2020

UK Security Team to support the Cayman Islands

"The situation is unprecedented", said Governor, Martyn Roper at today's press briefing of the reason behind the 12-person UK military team (nine uniformed services members and three civilians) scheduled to arrive to Grand Cayman on the British Airways flight scheduled for April 28.

This support is not due to any major security threat, but the team will be providing assistance in a number of areas. The military team will undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the 12 specialists will provide an advisory role and will include medical planners, logistics experts and security advisers. The team will be tasked with providing support in the coordination of essential medical supplies and personnel, to provide a liaison function with UK naval assets in the region, to work with Hazard Management Cayman Islands on Hurricane Preparedness and to provide advice on any security threats that might occur in these exceptional circumstances. It will also mentor our newly established Defence Regiment.

According to the Governor's office, the Cayman team will follow a similar deployment that was made to the Turks and Caicos Islands two weeks ago. The UK also has two naval ships including helicopters in the region - HMS Medway and RFA Argus - which are tasked with supporting the Overseas Territories as we enter hurricane season.

Last year, RFA Mounts Bay undertook a hurricane crisis exercise landing equipment and personnel on Governor’s beach underlining what a major asset UK naval ships can be.

The Governor said: “Our law and order situation is stable and I have every confidence in our capacity and capability to manage risks going forward. But this situation is unprecedented and all my experience of crises underlines the importance of being prepared for any eventuality.

“This will be a small military/civilian planning and logistics team to support us on sensible scenario planning. It will provide expertise and resource to ensure we are planning and preparing effectively to manage any risks on law and order (curfew handling, prison, economic and social factors). It will be an extremely valuable resource to have just now in support of our security needs, Covid-19 risk and hurricane preparedness including coordinating other UK assets in the region. 

“The team also comes with medical and security planners and logisticians who will be valuable to help ensure that Cayman’s stock of essential medical supplies remains robust. It is a strong signal of UK political support.” 

The flight which arrives on April 28 will also bring back Caymanians to the islands from the UK.

For those who plan to travel to the UK on the return flight on April 29, a website will be provided to the general public to book the flight. Details will also be provided on taking pets to the UK. 

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