HMS Lancaster Crew and JDF Coast Guard Partner in Cleanup Operation
Private Tradeen Foster,
The Royal Navy's 436-foot frigate, HMS Lancaster, docked in Jamaica on July 31 2013, as part of a familiarization and support tour of Britain's Caribbean Overseas Territories (COTs) during the 2013 hurricane season. As with previous visits to other Caribbean Territories, the aim was to provide reassurance and security to the Island at the start of the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.
In addition to calling on The Chief of Defence Staff, Cdr Steve Moorehouse, Commanding Officer of the vessel also met with the Mayor of Kingston, Her Worship Senator Councilor Angella Brown and the Commissioner of Police Mr. Owen Ellington, before embarking on a number of stops and activities. One such activity was a cleanup operation at the Old Naval Cemetery in Port Royal. This was done jointly with members of the JDF Coast Guard and 1 Engineer Regiment (1ER).
One Engineer Regiment not only supplied the equipment used in the cleanup exercise, but also provided refreshment and manpower. Commanding Officer of 1 Engineer Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman stated that “the engineers were happy to have been a part of the cleanup exercise which showed great comradeship and team work”. Col Rickman also praised the efforts of the soldiers who took part in the exercise, and noted that “it is a great honor to show that we still recognize the dedication and service of those buried here.”
Cdr Moorehouse, expressed that, "we have been at sea providing training in Navigation and Engineering to members of the JDF Coast Guard (JDF CG) and it has been both fun and a great privilege. It is a pleasure working with the Jamaica Defence Force."
Before departing Jamaica, HMS Lancaster competed against the JDF in Football and Rugby and hosted a formal dinner in honour of the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson. Cdr Moorehouse with great humor revealed, "I used the opportunity to remind Major General Anderson that the Jamaicans gave the Royal Navy their first taste of Rum in 1655 and no doubt, our palates have long warmed to the mellow taste of the Jamaica White Rum". He added that "although we have historic links to Jamaica and Kingston, it is my first visit here and we were made to feel very welcome."
HMS Lancaster left Jamaica on August 5, 2013 to continue its tour of the Caribbean.