GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos Islands – Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke is to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands again, a year after providing support to them in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. The Ship’s primary role in the region is to provide reassurance and support to all the UK Overseas Territories, especially during the core hurricane season.
Iron Duke is also part of an International Task Force hunting narcotics traffickers across the Caribbean, and has had three notable drugs seizures since arriving in the region in early July.
Whilst on a similar deployment last year, Iron Duke arrived 24 hours after Hurricane Ike had hit the Turks and Caicos Islands. After an initial recconaissance the Ship provided support over several days, restoring power to the reverse osmosis plant that provides water, providing temporary roofing and restoring power to the Health Clinic, and distributing bottled water, food and stores around the islands.
Iron Duke will visit Grand Turk 29 Sep – 2 Oct. On 29 Sep she will remain at sea off the Island, sending teams ashore to meet the Disaster Management Committee and conduct disaster relief training. Once alongside on 30 September the Ship will host cadet and school visits, and in the evening hold an official reception for local dignitaries. During her time in Grand Turk the Ship will also send a team ashore to help renovate Heineken House, which, when restored, will be used to house homeless people.
Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Stacey said: “It is a real pleasure to be bringing the Ship back to the Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly after our work last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. We are all very much looking forward to the visit.”