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Gibraltar contributes to HMS Ocean aid for Hurricane Irma

HM Government Gibraltar contribute to HMS Ocean aid for Hurricane Irma
12 September 2017
As HMS Ocean prepares to leave for the Caribbean to deliver vital aid in the wake of Hurricane Irma, HM Government of Gibraltar have provided ten new 4x4 vehicles as part of the British relief.

The Gibraltar donation also includes £6,500 worth of building materials from Gibraltar Joinery and Building Services and £20,000 worth of general hardware items supplied by the Housing Works Agency. These goods are urgently needed for the communities to undertake the process of repairing and re-building.

Gibraltar’s central role in Operation Ruman highlights the strategic importance of the Rock as a Forward Mounting Base.

The smooth coordination between civil and military aviation authorities has ensured the efficiency of Gibraltar’s airfield to receive aircraft, supplies and personnel at almost no notice, whilst simultaneously maintaining Gibraltar’s high frequency of civilian flights arriving and departing from Gibraltar International Airport, which shares the use of Gibraltar’s only runway with the military.

The people of Gibraltar are committed deeply to the relationship with the Royal Navy and we wish Godspeed to HMS Ocean

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo QC MP

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo QC MP, visited HMS Ocean today and said: “The 4x4s will be loaded last because they will be the first things off when the ship arrives on station. This is so that work can begin immediately helping in the areas we have all seen on the television which are hard to get to because of all the damage and devastation.  

“I came on board today to see Captain Pedre to wish him well and all the men and women of HMS Ocean. They will be carrying out important work in assisting the British Overseas Territories. The emergency supplies from Gibraltar will go some way to assist in the long term relief efforts. It is only right that we provide aid and assistance for our fellow British Overseas Territories in this time of urgent need.

“The people of Gibraltar are committed deeply to the relationship with the Royal Navy and we wish Godspeed to HMS Ocean.”

As stores continue to arrive at the ship thick and fast today Captain Rob Pedre said: “The stores are still arriving at the ship and my ship’s company are doing a tremendous job in getting everything on board. We are embarking about 200 pallets of humanitarian aid and about 30 to 40 pallets of emergency military supplies.

“The plan is to leave today (Tues) and we expect to be there in 12 days’ time. It should be noted that of course it is still hurricane season and there could be further hurricanes. We hope we don’t come across one.

“We have an expert meteorology team on board to monitor the situation. It’s about 3,200 miles, which we will make at best speed. If we can expedite that arrival we will."

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