On the 24th November, over 30 British Army soldiers currently deployed on a training exercise in Central America have taken the opportunity to support the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) of Belize. They provided humanitarian aid in the form of food and essential supplies to the locals in need of assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Iota.
Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland deployed from British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) base (Price Barracks) to Belize District. The key tasking was to collect supplies including food, water, washing and cleaning products from the NEMO warehouse, to then deliver to locals who require the much needed support.
The country has been devastated by flooding only a matter of weeks after Hurricane Eta and the presence of Hurricane Iota only days after recovering, only made life more arduous for the local population. The hurricanes that have struck Belize in the month of November are said to be the worst they have seen in 88 years.
This is the second humanitarian and aid relief tasking the troops have assisted with, all while completing their training objectives that they originally deployed to accomplish. This shows to adaptability of the British Army’s soldiers and their willingness to rise up to the challenges that face them.
2nd Lieutenant Rory Hand, Platoon commander, said “The platoon is absolutely delighted to be working alongside NEMO and providing aid to those who need it. Having just finished a tough jungle exercise, the adaptability of the platoon to transition to humanitarian aid is commendable.”
The British troops have deployed to Belize on Exercise Mayan Warrior, to learn how to survive in the harsh and demanding conditions of the jungle. The 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland’s soldiers grasped the opportunity to be able to help the local population of Belize District.
Lance Corporal Carla Fraser, age 30 from Inverness said “I felt extremely grateful to be able to help the people of Belize. Knowing we are making a small difference to people’s lives makes me very proud.”
The global Covid-19 Pandemic presented challenges but the troops abided by the Force health protection measures throughout, wearing face coverings and washing their hands frequently while maintaining social distancing as much as possible to protect both Belizean nationals and ourselves. Before deploying to Belize, all soldiers tested negative and entered isolation to protect themselves and the population of Belize from the virus.
The British army has a long-standing relationship with Belize, assisting with humanitarian aid will only strengthen the bonds between our two nations.