UK Task Group Exercise and Engagement in Montserrat
The UK Task Group in the Caribbean assembled in Montserrat following a day of engagement activities and Disaster Relief exercises.
RFA Argus spent the day conducting tasking on the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, a volcanic island so covered in lush green vegetation that it is known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. The Crisis Response Troop were landed ashore to conduct Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercises in the deserted volcanic exclusion zone on the south of the island, while the Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron collected aerial photography to assist the local scientific community with their work monitoring the active volcano on Montserrat.
Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) inserted the Mobile Air Operations Team by fast-roping from 845 Naval Air Squadron Merlin helicopters. A safe landing zone was prepared and then teams of combat engineers and medics from 24 Commando Royal Engineers and small teams from 47 Commando Royal Marines and 3 Commando Brigade also fast-roped to the ground.
The chance to land in the volcanic exclusion zone is a rare opportunity for the Crisis Response Troop to test their equipment ashore in a deserted environment without direct interaction that could create the risk of COVID transmission to the clean bubble that is maintained on board RFA ARGUS. The Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron flew on tasking to support the local community, particularly scientists of the Montserrat Volcanic Observatory (....