By Michael L Jarvis, London UK
A UK Ministry of Defence training team has arrived in Cayman to begin training the jurisdiction’s Defence Regiment Reservists.
The 14-strong unit landed on Thursday aboard a Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager aircraft along with training equipment all supplied by the UK.
The two-week training course will provide the first 50 Reservists with a variety of skills including drill, medical training, defence law, navigation/map reading and survival skills.
A team of senior reservists recently completed officer training at the UK’s top-notch Sandhurst military training academy.
In a social media post, His Excellency, Governor Martyn Roper, said the UK team who are serving UK military personnel, were all temperature-tested at the airport and have now gone into isolation.
“The work to establish the Regiment has continued despite the COVID crisis so that we will have an able body of men and women ready to support us should we need them during hurricane season,” Mr Roper stated.
A large majority of the Reservists are Caymanians, the Governor pointed out, adding “I was delighted to see such strong interest in joining the Regiment.”
Governor Roper said, “It is a significant achievement to get this far and my thanks to all concerned particularly Lt Col Watson, Commander of the Regiment and his team, the now-departed UK MOD Security Assistance Team, MOD UK and my own staff.”
Meanwhile, the UK Military has also been deployed in the Turks and Caicos for training and development for a local regiment there.
A statement on the official social media page of TCI Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson said Major Javed Johl of the UK Military, along with the first Commanding Officer of the TCI Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Ennis Grant are, with the help of UK Military Officials, overseeing the recruitment and selection process.
The shortlisted candidates will be assessed over several days and through the methodology used by the UK’s Army Officer Selection Board. That includes physical assessment, written communication; led and leaderless command tasks; interviews and the ability to plan and conduct a full appreciation of a complicated task.
The Regiment, once formed, will have two primary roles: to be in direct support of the Maritime Police, and also, to provide a contingent force capable of preparing and supporting the Islands, at time of natural or other disasters.
Premier Cartwright-Robinson called it an important development for TCI, adding that “it will be a symbol of pride for us all.”
“The interest from strong applicants is an encouraging sign and my Government looks forward to growing it beyond the initial core officers."
Thanking the TCI Governor Nigel Dakin "and all support systems for making this happen, the Premier went on to state:
"There are key investments in national security that will be game-changers for TCI and this is one. I am so very proud of this moment in our history."
“There remains much more on the horizon as we strengthen our national security systems and response," the Turks and Caicos Premier added.