Following the visit to the Cayman Islands of Minister for Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster last month, a Ministry of Defence team has arrived in the islands to help support and advise on how to set up a military Regiment.
Commander Con Burns, Major Rennie Bulmer and Major Ed Dutton are all members of the UK military and met key stakeholders, including the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughin, and Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, during their three-day visit.
They spent time with the Hazard Management Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Red Cross, the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and the Cayman Islands Fire Service, as well as meeting and speaking to former Cadet Corps members and volunteers about their thoughts on how the concept could be taken forward.
To begin with the team has been asked to identify what logistical advice, operational training, equipment and general support the Cayman Islands would need from the UK to set up the Regiment.
It is envisaged that the specially trained defence force would provide a boost to security and disaster management capability in the Cayman Islands and would also be able to deploy to other Overseas Territories in times of need.
Premier McLaughlin said: “The idea of a local reserve force goes back some years now to the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
“A specially trained Cayman Islands Regiment will have a positive impact on youth development and leadership in our Islands. It will also give a boost to security and increase our resilience on disaster management and the support we can offer across the wider Caribbean.
“I look forward to receiving the report from Commander Burns, Major Bulmer, and Major Dutton following their conversations locally and once they have completed their recommendations on moving the initiative forward.”
Head of the Governor’s Office, Matthew Forbes, said: “We are pleased that Commander Burns and the team have been able to carry out this review so soon after the Minister’s visit.
“This initial scoping will provide us with a roadmap to ensure that the Regiment can be formed and be effective as soon as possible.
“The Regiment’s role in humanitarian and disaster relief will be a key area and it is important that HMCI and the CI Cadet Corps are fully involved with the design of the new unit.”