A Royal Bermuda Regiment soldier who signed up for a stint of life on the ocean wave has just finished a major disaster relief exercise in the Caribbean.
Lieutenant Ci’re Bean, 23, was attached to the Royal Navy’s HMS Medway to help plan and carry out a humanitarian aid and relief exercises in the Turks & Caicos.
The 23-year-old, from Sandys, was deployed with the UK’s Caribbean Task Group as he had experience in hurricane response work with the RBR.
Lt Bean said: “One of the main purposes of the RBR is to assist with disaster relief, especially with the frequency of hurricanes.
“While attached to the Task Group, I have seen how everything works on a bigger scale, from the planning process beforehand, through to the coordinating instructions and execution of the plan.
“These are skills that I will be able to use on my return to Bermuda to assist with future disaster relief pre-planning.”
The RN Task Group is made up of HMS Medway, a River class patrol ship, the Wildcat helicopter-equipped Royal Fleet Auxiliary fast tanker Wave Knight, as well as the Crisis Response Troop from 24 Commando Royal Engineers.
The Task Group is also equipped with specialist equipment and emergency supplies for use in the aftermath of a disaster.
Lt Bean said life aboard ship was a new and interesting experience.
He added he had enjoyed working alongside British and American colleagues and adapting to a life at sea.
But Lt Bean admitted the tradition of throwing dice to see who ends up washing the dishes after a meal had often found him on the losing end.
Humanitarian aid and disaster relief exercises – abbreviated to HADREx - are conducted regularly by the Task Group.
The exercises, held during the hurricane season, were designed to develop skills and work with partners in the region to develop interoperability and better deal with natural disasters.
RFA Wave Knight is a fast tanker, designed to replenish naval ships with fuel, food, fresh water, and ammunition while at sea. Built in Barrow-in-Furness and launched in 2000, this is Wave Knight’s seventh deployment to the Caribbean.
RFA Wave Knight can carry up to 2000 disaster relief packages, 150 tonnes of fresh food and provide up to 380,000 litres of fresh water. Her maximum speed of 21 knots and embarked helicopter increase the ship’s reach to a large operating area. The diverse complement of professional seafarers and military personnel that make up the ship’s company provide a broad range of skills and experience.
HMS Medway is a River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel, built on the Clyde and launched in 2017. It is permanently deployed to the Caribbean to support disaster relief and conduct counter-trafficking operations. Its flight deck can operate medium sized helicopters or embark up to eight shipping containers.
Crisis Response Troop, 24 Commando Royal Engineers is a multi-disciplinary team who specialise in disaster relief. They are highly trained commando sappers, who provide military engineering for the Royal Marines. They specialise in amphibious warfare, but are able to deploy anywhere in the world, including desert, jungle, mountainous and cold weather environments.
210 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron is embarked on RFA Wave Knight. They crew and pilot the Wildcat HMA2 helicopter, which is the Royal Navy’s latest generation of multi-role helicopter. With state of the art sensors and equipment, it provides reconnaissance flights and transports stores from ship to shore.