The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s (RCIPS) Air Operations Unit took delivery of its second Airbus H145 helicopter on Friday, Dec. 6.
The new helicopter joined the RCIPS Air Operations Unit’s existing H145, which arrived on the island in March and was purchased as part of a joint deal between the UK and Cayman. This helicopter is the replacement for the Eurocopter EC135 helicopter, which suffered a forced landing earlier this year after it experienced a technical fault.
The Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory (BOT) in the western Caribbean Sea. The two new helicopters will increase Cayman’s capability to carry out search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement and border protection operations. Both aircraft will support disaster relief efforts and will also be available to assist other Overseas Territories during times of crisis.
Both aircraft will be fitted with state of the art surveillance systems, weather and SAR radar, together with winching capability, due to commence early 2020. All operational crews will be undertaking the required training for the new equipment over the next six months.
“With this second helicopter, the Government is continuing its objective of investing in the physical assets and equipment that a modern police service needs. It is part of our continued effort in providing support for security, law enforcement and disaster response for the Cayman Islands and our Caribbean Overseas Territories as well as local deployments for border security and maritime search-and-rescue,” said Premier of the Cayman Islands Alden McLaughlin.
Governor Martyn Roper said: “Today marks an important day as we see both helicopters on Grand Cayman at the same time. Having two aircraft available means we are better able to support law enforcement efforts across the Islands and protect our borders, improve our search and rescue efforts and provide medevacs when needed. We have now doubled one of our most important resources in the event of a hurricane and we are also better equipped to offer support to our Caribbean neighbours, just as we did over the summer in the Bahamas with Hurricane Dorian. I am pleased that the UK has been able to support the Air Operations Unit and I look forward to seeing how much they achieve with this new aircraft.”