Royal Dutch Marines return for more hurricane exercises

POSTED: 08/31/11 1:13 PM

St. Maarten – A group of around 120 Royal Dutch Marines and the navy ship HMS Pelican, are until September 7 in the Windward Islands for their annual hurricane exercise Hurex. The marines already did training with the fire Department in St. Maarten last week. The group will return to St. Maarten on Friday.
During the exercise, realistic scenarios are presented to train the marines for any kind of emergency or disaster during the hurricane season. This is one of the main tasks of the Royal Dutch Navy in the Caribbean.

Friday the whole unit will travel on board of the Pelican from Saba and Statia back to St. Maarten for the actual hurricane exercise.

The hurricane exercise is intended to familiarize the marines with the situation in the Windward Islands, know the locations of the hurricane shelters and know the partners in the disaster management system. This will assist the marines to prepare themselves in the event they will have to render assistance in the event of a hurricane threat to the islands. The Hurex is prepared annually in close cooperation with the local disaster management organizations.

The period until September 2 has been used for practical classes and to familiarize the participants with the islands. The internal communication system was tested on Saba and Statia. On Friday afternoon the actual hurricane simulation will begin. Some shelters will be manned on St. Maarten. Members of the VKS, the Fire Department and the Red Cross will assist the Marines in the shelter. In the event of an actual hurricane situation these entities will also work together. After the passage of the simulated hurricane different scenarios will be organized on several locations on the whole island to which the marines have to respond.

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