Mexeflote at Sandy Ground beach with the two police vehicles at back.
ANGUILLA–The RFA Mounts Bay is the Royal Navy ship newly arrived to the Caribbean deployed to assist British Overseas Territories and provide rapid response in case of emergencies. The ship was originally due for a three-day visit to Anguilla, but because of operational problems it was only in port for Monday, July 31. One of the main purposes of the visit was the delivery of two police vehicles, and assorted specialist safety and protection equipment for the Royal Anguilla Police Force. Commissioner of Police Paul Morrison said the arrival of the vehicles was the end of a massive journey that was made possible by a large number of people. The two vehicles are Mercedes Sprinters and were purchased from the Sussex Police in the UK for £5,000 (sterling) for the two.
This was a special price, and the refurbished vehicles, previously used by the Sussex Police Service, have been transported from the UK by the Royal Navy following an agreement between the Governor’s Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Ministry of Defence, which saved thousands of dollars in transportation cost. The vehicles came ashore using the ship’s Mexeflote system, which is used to deliver essential aid supplies and equipment to islands following a hurricane or natural disaster. Morrison said there are many uses for the new vehicles and one important use is as a mobile police station that can be moved to different locations as required, and answers the need for additional police stations.
Governor Christina Scott said it is a practical example of the police delivering to police strategy and promises made during consultations last year. She said the whole process involved good collaboration and she thanked the Royal Navy for its part in the exercise. She said the vehicles are an example of team work with the Government in order to make Anguilla safer.
Captain handing keys for the vehicles to Commissioner of Police Paul Morrison with Governor Christina Scott and Deputy Commissioner Elliot Forbes looking on
Commanding Officer Captain Chris Clarke said the shipping of the vehicles involved a lot of time and effort by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, as well as officials in Anguilla. He said the Mexeflote demonstrates how equipment can be brought ashore in times of disaster. It is described as a modular raft that can break up into different sections. It can even be used as a roll-on ramp facility if an island has damage to a jetty.
He said, “It is a privilege to command such a versatile ship with such an amazing and helpful range of military personnel, equipment and capability. In many respects what Mounts Bay brings to the UK’s Overseas Territories is transformational in capability. We are able to provide a new enhanced range of options to any Government decision-making body when responding to a new rapid-onset crises.”
During the short one-day stay in Anguilla waters officials of Disaster Management, the Fire Services and the Airport were able to tour the ship and understand its capabilities, and how it could assist Anguilla in times of need.
Mounts Bay has 80 crew and also includes other groups. The UK’s new Wildcat helicopter is on board, commanded by a female Royal Naval Officer; an Army detachment of the Royal Logistics Corp Port and Maritime Regiment, commanded by a female RLC Officer; and a detachment of Engineers from 24 Commando Royal Engineers.
Mounts Bay’s primary task is to provide enhanced security and reassurance to the UK Overseas Territories and its citizens, including disaster relief when called upon. She will also be involved in counter-narcotic operations, working with partners in the region and will continue to be on very short notice to react to any emerging crises around the Caribbean. Her cargo, including tractors, diggers, trucks, quad bikes, command and all-terrain vehicles helps to make her the perfect disaster relief platform in time of need. It will be in the Caribbean for the next three years with crews changing as required.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68133-rfa-mounts-bay-delivers-2-police-vehicles-to-anguilla