HMS Lancaster has continued her regional engagement programme in the Caribbean with a visit to the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos. The Type 23 frigate is on a six month deployment visiting British Overseas Territories, interacting with local populations and displaying Royal Navy capability.
Another key aim of her deployment is one of reassurance – as Lancaster is on alert to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief to any islands affected by hurricanes in coming months.
During her visits, contingency planning is always discussed with local services and authorities, meaning that if Lancaster has to return to any of the 40 islands that make up the territory she can respond quickly and effectively.
In the Turks and Caicos, Lancaster hosted the Governor and the Deputy Premier as well as local dignitaries for a reception and capability demonstration.
Lancaster’s football team, the Red Roses, also took on a strong team of islanders, managing to hold them off and win the match.
The ship has also been engaging with local media, reinforcing the message that she is there to provide assistance and raise the profile of the Royal Navy in the region.
HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said:
“It was a great honour to visit the Grand Turk and continue the long relationship the Royal Navy has had with the islands.
“We were made to feel very welcome by all upon our arrival and it was a pleasure to be invited to the Governor’s residence for an evening reception.
“I am delighted we had the opportunity to work with the emergency services to share knowledge and also prepare for if the worst should happen, as recent history has shown that Grand Turk can suffer particularly badly in the event of a hurricane.”
HMS Lancaster leaves the Turks and Caicos Islands knowing she is better prepared to conduct disaster relief and counter narcotic operations whilst she is in the region; also the people of the islands are now more aware of her presence and what she has to offer.
Press Release, July 3, 2013; Image: Royal Navy