The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship ‘RFA MOUNTS BAY’ which was essential in the early stages of recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria announced that it will be waiting to assist the Territory during this hurricane season.
It was predicted that the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be “approximately average” with some predicted 13 named storms, of which five may have the potential to develop into major storms of Category 3 or stronger intensity. Nonetheless, the Royal Navy announced on 10 June that it will have experts on standby in case the Territory requires assistance.
It was stated that the Royal Navy in its preparation for the season visited the Territory. The report on the visit mentioned that “the airmen of 211 Flight dropped in on Road Town, Tortola, part of a fact-finding mission to prepare themselves and their ship for the hurricane season which is now upon the Caribbean.”
The Navy mentioned that RF Mounts Bay was part of a massive relief effort by the UK armed forces following the 2017 catastrophies, and noted that preparation for any arising catastrophe this season is being made.
In noting the ship’s preparation the Navy said: “She’s ready for the 2019 storm season with a specialist team of marines, soldiers and engineers embarked with the relevant equipment and vehicles to deliver immediate assistance and patch up vital supplies such as communications, water and power should hurricanes barrel through again.”
MOUNTS BAY has been deployed in the Caribbean for almost two years now, having arrived from the UK in June 2017, and will complete her current assignment in 2020. The UK maintains a year-round naval presence in the Caribbean to provide a rapid response and reassurance to any emerging rapid-onset crises in the Territories.
The British naval vessel played a major role during the 2017 hurricane season, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) in the Caribbean in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Whilst MOUNTS BAY’s primary task is to provide enhanced security and reassurance to the UK Overseas Territories, including disaster relief when called upon, she has also been involved in counter-narcotic operations and continues to be on very short notice to react to any emerging crises, primarily in the region, but also around the world.