The British Navy landed at Seven Mile Beach on Friday morning.

A large landing craft from the RFA Mounts Bay, moored off Seven Mile Beach, slid onto the sand just north of the governor’s mansion, loaded with troops and equipment from Britain’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Navy’s logistical support arm.

Not long after, trucks, personnel carriers and a large tractor with a skip loader rolled across the sand at Governors Beach, leaving monster treadmarks on a surface usually marked only by bare footprints.

Lord Tariq Ahmad, left, and Governor Martyn Roper attend the landing in front of the governor’s home on Seven Mile Beach. – Photo: Alvaro Serey

The annual visit from the RFA is part of its training operations in preparation for hurricane season and any other natural disaster where a Caribbean island might need outside assistance. The force can provide humanitarian relief, medical services and heavy equipment.

On hand for the event was Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations Lord Tariq Ahmad, who stood on the beach with Governor Martyn Roper, watching the action unfold.

Lord Ahmad, whose responsibilities include the British Overseas Territories, said the drill was “an example of how in the instance of any emergency, we can respond quickly. We stand ready to assist.”

Roper said he was impressed by the operation.

“That was the first time I’ve seen a beach landing,” the governor said. “It underlines what an incredible asset RFA is for the region.”

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Cayman Compass.

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