When: 10 December 2018, 18:00 for 18:30 - 20:00
Where: Reading Town Hall, Blagrave St, Reading, West Berkshire RG1 1QH
Meeting Point: Soane Space
Speaker: Group Captain Neil Jones CMILT RAF, Assistant Head Defence Logistic Operations and Plans, Defence Logistics Directorate, Ministry of Defence
This is a humanitarian logistics story with a difference. The speed of reaction needed to a series of natural disasters in the Caribbean called for a response in scale and speed across such vast distances that the UK military, rather than the usual Non-Governmental aid organisations, were probably best placed to respond.
The devastating aftermath of Hurricane IRMA on the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean left the governance and infrastructure in the region hanging by a thread and demanded an immediate response from the UK for assistance. Crucial to this response was the ability of the spearhead UK Military Logistics units to react positively and immediately. Defence Logisticians from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, the Army and the Royal Air Force, set about preparing and deploying personnel within 24 hours of the first Hurricane strike, armed with the knowledge that a second hurricane, JOSE, was about to hit some 12 hrs later. The response needed to be swift, measured and appropriate. Defence logisticians were at the forefront of the UK National effort and, as key enablers for the entire theatre and Operation.
Irma made landfall on the evening of 05 September 2017 hitting Anguilla; it then moved through the region striking the British Virgin Islands on 06 September 2017. The UK based Military Forces mobilised at 1500 hours UK time on 07 September and commenced deployment in the early hours of 08 September 2017, having flown between Hurricanes Irma and Jose to reach the region, less than 40 hours after the Force 5 Hurricane had devastated the region. In the first 4 days over 1,100 personnel were deployed, opening one major Forward Mounting base in Barbados, 3 Deployed Operating Bases and over 20 other points of presence that needed to be managed and supported on various islands throughout the region.
Group Captain Neil Jones is the Assistant Head of Defence Logistic Operations and Plans in the Ministry of Defence, a seasoned logistician with decades of experience, he tells a compelling story about how the deployment and employment of an eclectic mix of military units from across the Defence logistic spectrum in the role of humanitarian logistics (that is not core, having trained and operated for the last decade in support of warfighting) demonstrated what good operational planning, leadership, professional training and through-career personal development can achieve.
Refreshments and a light buffet will be provided.
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