British High Commission responds to allegations of UK Warships possibly getting withdrawn from Caribbean combatting Narco-Traffickers
As you may be aware, members of the Print Media implied England would be reducing their maritime presence in regards to Drug Interdiction also known as “busting pushers,” Great Britain’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Paul Brummell, sought to clear the air – however, since many Bajans apparently have not seen his official response we sought a further clarification from the FCO division here, and a source was able to elaborate;-
The primary purpose of the Royal Navy in the Caribbean is to deliver security and reassurance to the UK Overseas Territories, specifically in relation to disaster relief operations. In addition to this the Royal Navy has been able to offer support to other Caribbean countries in the event of disasters, for example, recently providing support last year to communities in St. Lucia hit by the effects of Hurricane Tomas.
When Royal Naval vessels are not engaged in disaster support activity, spare capacity is used to disrupt and interdict consignments of illicit narcotics trafficked through the region en route from Latin America to the UK, Europe and the US. The results of this work have been highly successful.
The Royal Navy will continue to provide a permanent presence in the Caribbean, able to respond to the full range of foreseeable contingencies. Specifically, in the event of Humanitarian Disaster Relief Operations, it will deliver initial military assistance. During 2011 this will be provided by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, enhanced with a naval party and helicopter during the core hurricane season.
The reduction in the Royal Navy’s frigate and destroyer numbers requires a careful prioritisation of where ships are deployed to the maximum effect, and it is not anticipated that a frigate or destroyer will supplement the work of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the Caribbean during the 2011 hurricane season. But the fine tradition of Royal Naval presence in, and engagement with, the Caribbean will continue.