Civilian Companies Taking the Lead

Royal Marines from Signals Troop, 40 Commando Royal Marines and airmen from 33 Squadron RAF Benson have assisted civilian communications experts in transiting across the British Virgin Islands to re-establish vital networks.

Reconnecting the multiple islands is vital in allowing normality to return across the archipelago. Utilizing their satellite capability, technicians from Techno Antenna Sistemas have flown to Tortolo, Necker Islands, Anegada and Virgin Gorda to relink these remote locations.

These engineers were focusing on Digicel networks, one of the largest mobile phone providers across the territory. Rusty Henderson from AVL Integrated systems and was overseeing the work and coordinates all civilian communications.

He said, “Today we’re sorting Digicel but we’ll be looking to reconnect other networks in the future”.

The teams were dropped at the multiple locations with their kit by the Puma helicopters and were advised on locations from the Regimental Signals Officer from 40 Commando, Captain Alex Ainsley.

He said, “It’s important to work with these local businesses and facilitate the logistical side of their work. Sorting the mobile communications will be a big step forward in getting them back on their feet.” 

It’s important to work with these local businesses and facilitate the logistical side of their work. Sorting the mobile communications will be a big step forward in getting them back on their feet.

Captain Alex Ainsley, Royal Marine

Whilst moving to the different islands the team had multiple encounters with various civilian businesses, a good indicator that the islands are receiving wider assistance and are completely out of the emergency period.

Gemini Sea Water Systems LLC, based in Florida were at Oil Nut Bay fixing the salt and fresh water pump and were confident they could get the system up and running. Now there is sufficient food, water and shelter on the islands these companies are able to establish and start repairs aiding recovery in the long term.

Just round the corner, and a sure sign of significant improvement, a team of loss adjusters had arrived to start assessing insurance claims.

These claims will help drive money back into the communities and restart the tourism business that is so heavily relied upon here.