The Hon. Wayne Caines, JP, MP Royal Bermuda Regiment Overseas Camp
Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise this Honourable House and the public that with the approval of His Excellency, the Governor, the 2018 Royal Bermuda Regiment Overseas Camp has been cancelled.
Historically, the Regiment undertakes an annual two week training exercise in an overseas jurisdiction; however, the elimination of conscription has presented the Regiment with a golden opportunity to change how they recruit, retain and invest in our people to better achieve its missions and roles. The decision to cancel the camp has been made as a result of identifying better value for money and the need to invest in activities that are operationally focused – putting the Royal Bermuda Regiment back on the map!
Mr. Speaker, in line with current planning and the Governor’s further orders, the Regiment will generate and develop a professional, credible full time, inshore Coast Guard.
In order to meet the operational needs of the Coast Guard, the Regiment has committed to finding reductions in its 2018/2019 budget so that funds can be redirected its development. Additionally, the Regiment seeks to enhance its Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and Military Aid to Civil Authorities capability. The cancellation of the Overseas Camp will realize a savings of between $300,000 and $450,000 through the elimination of an aircraft charter and camp operational cost.
Mr. Speaker, consideration has been given to two courses of action in place of the Overseas Camp. The first option was to simply do nothing aside from low level sub-unit training.
This would result in a lapse in recertification for some troops in specialist roles. The second course of action, and the course the Regiment has decided to take, is two-fold. The first part will take place in May 2018 with the RBR remaining in Bermuda to conduct a regimental 6 day exercise that focuses on ‘confirming fundamental skills and fully preparing for 2018 Hurricane season’. The second part will take place in Oct 2018 and will be a 5-day inter-agency ‘Joint Venture’ exercise in Bermuda, which will focus on ‘Improving Interoperability with the other uniformed services’.
Mr. Speaker, the Regiment has already begun the planning stages of a Training Camp for fiscal year 2019/2020, which is proposed to comprise of elements that will meet the Regiment’s intended revised priorities.
Mr. Speaker, the Royal Bermuda Regiment remains committed to its mission “to support the Civil Authority with the security of Bermuda, its peoples, property, livelihood and interests in order to maintain normality.’
Providing defence and security of the island remains a core role of the Regiment. I am confident that the cancellation of the 2018 Overseas Training Camp will allow the Regiment to realign its focus and emerge better equipped to provide valuable security and disaster relief services for Bermuda.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.