This morning, Wednesday 1 December, the RCIPS Air Operations Unit (AOU) deployed one of their H145 helicopters and crew to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). This is the first of two, two week deployments, requested by the Turks and Caicos Government to provide support to the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force with countering unlawful migration. The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office are funding the deployment, which is in accordance with the Memorandum Of Understanding signed by the Cayman Islands and United Kingdom Governments in December 2018 to support Overseas Territories disaster management and security. These deployments will focus on security assistance.
One H145 helicopter and crew will remain in the Cayman Islands to continue the AOU’s primary functions in the Cayman Islands. This is the first time the AOU have operated the two helicopters simultaneously in different countries, following on from their successful deployments in 2017 to TCI to support Hurricane Irma response, 2018 TCI security patrols with the Royal Navy RFA Mounts Bay, and 2019 Hurricane Dorian response to The Bahamas. During 2021’s hurricane seasons, the AOU have shown readiness for disaster response throughout the Caribbean with both H145 helicopters based in the Cayman Islands.
Governor Martyn Roper said “Cayman has a long and proud record of supporting neighbouring Overseas Territories and countries. I am delighted that we are once again able to support TCI who do not have the benefit of their own helicopters to provide air support of this nature. I am very grateful to the team who volunteered for this assignment just before Christmas. I wish them every success in their work”.
Premier Hon. G. Wayne Panton said he is pleased that Government can show the people of Turks and Caicos some CaymanKind. “It is always wonderful to be able to assist when our sister British Overseas Territories are in need,” Mr. Panton said. “We are in a very fortunate position to be able to lend our support. We know that TCI would reciprocate if we found ourselves in need.”